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  • And Then There Were NonebyAGATHA CHRISTIECHAPTER 1IN THE CORNER of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave,lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eyethrough the political news in the Times.He laid the paper down and glanced out of the window. They were running nowthrough Somerset. He glanced at his watch-another two hours to go. He wentover in his mind all that had appeared in the papers about Indian Island.There had been its original purchase by an American millionaire who was crazyabout yachting-and an account of the luxurious modern house he had built onthis little island off the Devon coast. The unfortunate fact that the newthird wife of the American millionaire was a bad sailor had led to thesubsequent putting up of the house and island for sale. Various glowingadvertisements of it had appeared in the papers. Then came the first baldstatement that it had been bought-by a Mr. Owen. After that the rurnoursof the gossip writers had started. Indian Island had really been bought byMiss Gabrielle Turl, the Hollywood film star! She wanted to spend somemonths there free from all publicity! Busy Bee had hinted delicately that
  • it was to be an abode for Royalty??! Mr. Merryweather had had it whisperedto him that it had been bought for a honeymoon-Young Lord L-- hadsurrendered to Cupid at last! Jonas knew for a fact that it had beenpurchased by the Admiralty with a view to carrying out some very hush hushexperiments!Definitely, Indian Island was news!From his pocket Mr. Justice Wargrave drew out a letter. The handwriting waspractically illegible but words here and there stood out with unexpectedclarity. Dearest Lawrence . . . such years since I heard anything of you. . . must come to Indian Island . . . the most enchanting place . . . somuch to talk over . . . old days . . . communion with Nature . . . baskin sunshine . . . 12.40 from Paddington . . . meet you at Oakbridge . . .and his correspondent signed herself witha flourish his ever Constance Culmington.Mr. Justice Wargrave cast back in his mind to remember when exactly he hadlast seen Lady Constance Culmington. It must be seven -no, eight years ago.She had then been going to Italy to bask in the sun and be at one withNature and the contaditd. Later, he had heard, she had proceeded to Syriawhere she proposed to bask in yet stronger sun and live at one with Natureand the bedouin. Constance Culmington, he reflected to himself, was exactlythe sort of woman who would buy an island and surround herself withmystery! Nodding his head in gentle approval of his logic, Mr. JusticeWargrave allowed his head to nod. He slept. . . .MASTERPIECES OF MURDER
  • 2Vera Claythorne, in a third-class carriage with five other travellers init, leaned her head back and shut her eyes. How hot it was travelling bytrain to-day! It would be nice to get to the sea! Really a great piece ofluck getting this job. When you wanted a holiday post it nearly alwaysmeant looking after a swarm of children-secretarial holiday posts were muchmore difficult to get. Even the agency hadnt held out much hope.And then the letter had come."I have received your name from the Skilled Womens Agency together withtheir recommendation. I understand they know you personally. I shall beglad to pay you the salary you ask and shall expect you to take up yourduties on August 8th. The train is the 12.40 from Paddington and you willbe met at Oakbridge station. I enclose five pound notes for expenses.Yours truly,Una Nancy Owen."And at the top was the stamped address Indian Island, Sticklehaven, Devon....Indian Island! Why, there had been nothing else in the papers lately! Allsorts of hints and interesting rumours. Though probablyAND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • 193that was mostly untrue. But the house had certainly been built by amillionaire and was said to be absolutely the last word in luxury.Vera Claythorne, tired by a recent strenuous term at school, thought toherself-"Being a games mistress in a third-class school isnt much of acatch. school."And then, with a cold feeling round her heart, she thought: "But Im luckyto have even this. After all, people dont like a Coroners Inquest, evenif the Coroner did acquit me of all blame!"He had even complimented her on her presence of mind and courage, sheremembered. For an inquest it couldnt have gone better. And Mrs. Hamiltonhad been kindness itself to her- Only Hugo(but she wouldnt think of Hugo!)Suddenly, in spite of the heat in the carriage she shivered and wished shewasnt going to the sea. A picture rose clearly before her mind. Cyrilshead, bobbing up and down, swimming to the rock. . . . Up and down-up anddown. . . . And herself, swimming in easy practised strokes after him-cleaving her way through the water but knowing, only too surely, that shewouldnt be in time. . . . The sea-its deep warm blue-mornings spent lyingout on the sands-Hugo-Hugo who had said he loved her.She must not think of Hugo. . . .She opened her eyes and frowned across at the man opposite her. A tall manwith a brown face, light eyes set rather close together and an arrogantalmost cruel mouth.She thought to herself:
  • "I bet hes been to some interesting parts of the world and seen someinteresting things. . . .". If only I could get a job at some decent3Philip Lombard, summing up the girl opposite in a mere flash ofhis quick moving eyes thought to himself:"Quite attractive-a bit schoolmistressy perhaps.A cool customer, he should imagine-and one who could hold herown-in love or war. Hed rather like to take her on. . . .He frowned. No, cut out all that kind of stuff. This was business. Hed gotto keep his mind on the job.194 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERWhat exactly was up, he wondered? That little Jew had been damnedmysterious. "Take it or leave it, Captain Lombard."He had said thoughtfully:"A hundred guineas, eh?"He had said it in a casual way as though a hundred guineas was nothing tohim. A hundred guineas when he was literally down to his last square meal!He had fancied, though, that the little Jew had not been deceived-that wasthe damnable part about Jews, you couldnt deceive them about money-theyknewl
  • He had said in the same casual tone:"And you cant give me any further information?"Mr. Isaac Morris had shaken his little bald head very positively."No, Captain Lombard, the matter rests there. It is understood by my clientthat your reputation is that of a good man in a tight place. I am empoweredto hand you one hundred guineas in return for which you will travel toSticklehaven, Devon. The nearest station is Oakbridge, you will be metthere and motored to Sticklehaven where a motor launch will convey you toIndian Island. There you will hold yourself at the disposal of my client."Lombard had said abruptly:"For how long?""Not longer than a week at most."Fingering his small moustache, Captain Lombard said:"You understand I cant undertake anything-illegal?"He had darted a very sharp glance at the other as he had spoken. There hadbeen a very faint smile on the thick Semitic lips of Mr. Morris as heanswered gravely:"If anything illegal is proposed, you will, of course, be at perfectliberty to withdraw."Damn the smooth little brute, he had smiled! It was as though he knew verywell that in Lombards past actions legality had not always been a sine quanon. . Lombards own lips parted in a grin.By Jove, hed sailed pretty near the wind once or twice! But hed alwaysgot away with it! There wasnt much he drew the line at really. . . .No, there wasnt much hed draw the fine at. He fancied that he was goingto enjoy himself at Indian Island. . . .
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONE4195In a non-smoking carriage Miss Emily Brent sat very upright as was hercustom. She was sixty-five and she did not approve of lounging. Her father,a Colonel of the old school, had been particular about deportment.The present generation was shamelessly lax-in their carriage, and in everyother way.Enveloped in an aura of righteousness and unyielding principles, Miss Brentsat in her crowded third-class carriage and triumphed over its discomfortand its heat. Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wantedinjections before they had teeth pulled -they took drugs if they couldntsleep-they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed theirfigures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches insummer.Miss Brents lips set closely. She would like to make an example of certainpeople.She remembered last years summer holiday. This year, however, it would bequite different. Indian Island. . . .Mentally she reread the letter which she had already read so many times.
  • Dear Miss Brent, I do hope you remember me? We were together at Bellhaven Guest House inAugust some years ago, and we seemed to have so much in common. I am starting a guest house of my own on an island og the coast of Devon.I think there is really an opening for a place where there is good plaincooking and a nice old-fashioned type of person. None of this nudity andgramophones half the night. I shall be very glad if you could see your wayto spending your summer holiday on Indian Island-quite free-as my guest.Would early in August suit you? Perhaps the 81h. Yours sincerely, U. N. - What was the name? The signature was rather difficult to read. Emily Brent thought impatiently: "So many people write their signatures quiteillegibly."i~ 11 ~I 11 196 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER She let her mind run back over the people at Bellhaven. She had been theretwo summers running. There had been that nice middleaged woman-Mrs.-Mrs.-
  • now what was her name?-her father had been a Canon. And there had been aMiss Olton-Ormen- No, surely it was Oliver! Yes-Oliver.Indian Island! There had been things in the paper about Indian Island-something about a film star-or was it an American millionaire?Of course often those places went very cheap-islands didnt suit everybody.They thought the idea was romantic but when they came to live there theyrealized the disadvantages and were only too glad to sell.Emily Brent thought to herself: "I shall be getting a free holiday at anyrate." With her income so much reduced and so many dividends not beingpaid, that was indeed something to take into consideration. If only shecould remember a little more about Mrs.-or was it MissOliver?5General Macarthur looked out of the carriage window. The train was justcoming into Exeter where he had to change. Damnable, these slow branch linetrains! This place, Indian Island, was really no distance at all as thecrow flies. He hadnt got it clear who this fellow Owen was. A friend ofSpoof Leggards, apparently-and of Johnny Dyers.-One or two of your old cronies are coming-would like to have a talk overold times.Well, hed enjoy a chat about old times. Hed had a fancy lately thatfellows were rather fighting shy of him. All owing to that damned rumour!By God, it was pretty hard-nearly thirty years ago now! Armitage hadtalked, he supposed. Damned young pup! What did he know about it? Oh, well,
  • no good brooding about these things! One fancied things sometimes-fancieda fellow was looking at you queerly. This Indian Island now, hed beinterested to see it. A lot of gossip flying about. Looked as though theremight be something in the AND THEN THERE WERE NONE rumour that the Admiralty or the War Office or the Air Force had got holdof it. . . . Young Elmer Robson, the American millionaire, had actually built the place. Spent thousands on it, so it was said. Every mortal luxury. . . . Exeter! And an hour to wait! And he didnt want to wait. He wanted to geton. . .. 6 Dr. Armstrong was driving his Morris across Salisbury Plain. He was verytired. . . . Success had its penalties. There had been a time when he hadsat in his consulting room in Harley Street, correctly apparelled,surrounded with the most up-to-date appliances and the most luxuriousfurnishings and waited-waited through the empty days for his venture tosucceed or fail. . . * Well, it had succeeded! Hed been lucky! Lucky and skilful of course. Hewas a good man at his job-but that wasnt enough for success. You had to
  • have luck as well. And hed had it! An accurate diagnosis, a couple ofgrateful women patients-women with money and position-and word had gotabout. "You ought to try Armstrong -quite a young man-but so clever- Pamhad been to all sorts of people for years and he put his finger on thetrouble at once!" The ball had started rolling.And now Dr. Armstrong had definitely arrived. His days were full. He hadlittle leisure. And so, on this August morning, he was glad that he wasleaving London and going to be for some days on an island off the Devoncoast. Not that it was exactly a holiday. The letter he had received hadbeen rather vague in its terms, but there was nothing vague about theaccompanying cheque. A whacking fee. These Owens must be rolling in money.Some little difficulty, it seemed, a husband who was worried about hiswifes health and wanted a report on it without her being alarmed. Shewouldnt hear of seeing a doctor. Her nerves-Nerves! The doctors eyebrows went up. These women and their nerves! Well,it was good for business, after all. Half the women who consulted him hadnothing the matter with them but boredom, but they wouldnt thank you fortelling them so! And one could usually find something.198 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"A slightly uncommon condition of the-some long word-nothing at allserious-but it just needs putting right. A simple treatment."Well, medicine was mostly faith-healing when it came to it. And he had agood manner-he could inspire hope and belief.Lucky that hed managed to pull himself together in time after that
  • business ten-no, fifteen years ago. It had been a near thing, that! Hedbeen going to pieces. The shock had pulled him together. Hed cut out drinkaltogether. By Jove, it had been a near thing though. . . .With a devastating ear-splitting blast on the hom an enormous Super SportsDalmain car rushed past him at eighty miles an hour. Dr. Armstrong nearlywent into the hedge. One of these young fools who tore round the country.He hated them. That had been a near shave, too. Damned young fool!7Tony Marston, roaring down into Mere, thought to himself:"The amount of cars crawling about the roads is frightful. Always somethingblocking your way. And they will drive in the middle of the road! Prettyhopeless driving in England, anyway. . . . Not like France where you reallycould let out. . . ."Should he stop here for a drink, or push on? Heaps of time! Only anotherhundred miles and a bit to go. Hed have a gin and gingerbeer. Fizzing hotday! This island place ought to be rather good fun-if the weather lasted.Who were these Owens, he wondered? Rich and stinking, probably. Badger wasrather good at nosing people like that out. Of course, he had to, poor oldchap, with no money of his own. .Hope theyd do one well in drinks. Never knew with these fellows whod madetheir money and werent born to it. Pity that story about Gabrielle Turlhaving bought Indian Island wasnt true. Hed like to have been in withthat film star crowd. Oh, well, he supposed thered be a few girls there....
  • Coming out of the Hotel, he stretched himself, yawned, looked up at theblue sky and climbed into the Dalmain.Several young women looked at him admiringly-his six feet of well-proportioned body, his crisp hair, tanned face, and intensely blue eyes.AND THEN THERE WERE NONEHe let in the clutch with a roar and leapt up the narrow street. Old menand errand boys jumped for safety. The latter looked after the caradmiringly. Anthony Marston proceeded on his triumphal progress.8Mr. Blore was in the slow train from Plymouth. There was only one otherperson in his carriage, an elderly seafaring gentleman with a bleary eye.At the present moment he had dropped off to sleep.Mr. Blore was writing carefully in a little notebook."Thats the lot," he muttered to himself. "Emily Brent, Vera Claythorne,Dr. Armstrong, Anthony Marston, old Justice Wargrave, Philip Lombard,General Macarthur, C.M.G., D.S.O. Manservant and wife: Mr. and Mrs.Rogers." He closed the notebook and put it back in his pocket. He glancedover at the comer and the slumbering man."Had one over the eight," diagnosed Mr. Blore accurately.He went over things carefully and conscientiously in his mind."Job ought to be easy enough," he ruminated. "Dont see how I can slip up
  • on it. Hope I look all right."He stood up and scrutinized himself anxiously in the glass. The facereflected there was of a slightly military cast with a moustache. There wasvery little expression in it. The eyes were grey and set rather closetogether. "Might be a Major," said Mr. Blore. "No, I forgot. Theres thatold military gent. Hed spot me at once."South Africa," said Mr. Blore, "thats my line! None of these people haveanything to do with South Africa, and Ive just been reading that travelfolder so I can talk about it all right."Fortunately there were all sorts and types of colonials. As a man of meansfrom South Africa, Mr. Blore felt that he could enter into any societyunchallenged. Indian Island. He remembered Indian Island as a boy.Smelly sort of rock covered with gulls-stood about a mile from the coast.It had got its name from its resemblance to a mans head-an American Indianprofile. Funny idea to go and build a house on it! Awful in bad weather!But millionaires were full of wbims!200 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERThe old man in the comer woke up and said:"You cant never tell at sea-never!"Mr. Blore said soothingly, "Thats right. You cant."The old man hiccuped twice and said plaintively:"Theres a squall coming."Mr. Blore said:"No, no, mate, its a lovely day."The old man said angrily:
  • "Theres a squall ahead. I can smell it.""Maybe youre right," said Mr. Blore pacifically.The train stopped at a station and the old fellow rose unsteadily. "Thishwhere I get out." He fumbled with the window. Mr. Blore helped him. The oldman stood in the doorway. He raised a solemn hand and blinked his blearyeyes."Watch and pray," he said. "Watch and pray. The day of judgment is athand." He collapsed through the doorway onto the platform. From a recumbentposition he looked up at Mr. Blore and said with immense dignity:"Im talking to you, young man. The day of judgment is very close at hand."Subsiding onto his seat Mr. Blore thought to himself:"Hes nearer the day of judgment than I am!"But there, as it happens, he was wrong. . .CHAPTER 2OUTSIDE OAKBRIDGE STATION a little group of people stood in momentaryuncertainty. Behind them stood porters with suitcases. One of these called"Jim!" The driver of one of the taxis stepped forward."Youm for Indian Island, maybe?" he asked in a soft Devon voice. Fourvoices gave assent-and then immediately afterwards gave quick surreptitiousglances at each other.The driver said, addressing his remarks to Mr. Justice Wargrave as thesenior member of the party:"There are two taxis here, sir. One of them must wait till the slow
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONEtrain from Exeter gets in-a matter of five minutes-theres one gentlemancoming by that. Perhaps one of you wouldnt mind waiting? Youd be morecomfortable that way."Vera Claythome, her own secretarial position clear in her mind, spoke atonce. "Ill wait," she said, "if you will go on?" She looked at the otherthree, her glance and voice had that slight suggestion of command miit that comes from having occupied a position of authority. She might havebeen directing which tennis sets the girls were to play in.Miss Brent said stiffly, "Thank you," bent her head and entered one of thetaxis, the door of which the driver was holding open.Mr. Justice Wargrave followed her.Captain Lombard said:"Ill wait with Miss-""Claythome," said Vera."My name is Lombard, Philip Lombard."The porters were piling luggage on the taxi. Inside, Mr. Justice Wargravesaid with due legal caution:"Beautiful weather we are having."Miss Brent said:"Yes, indeed."A very distinguished old gentleman, she thought to herself. Quite unlikethe usual type of man in seaside guest houses. Evidently Mrs. or MissOliver had good connections. . .
  • Mr. Justice Wargrave inquired:"Do you know this part of the world well?""I have been to Cornwall and to Torquay, but this is my first visit to thispart of Devon."The judge said:"I also am unacquainted with this part of the world."The taxi drove off.The driver of the second taxi said:"Like to sit inside while youre waiting?"Vera said decisively:"Not at all."Captain Lombard smiled.He said:"That sunny wall looks more attractive. Unless youd rather go inside thestation?""No, indeed. Its so delightful to get out of that stuffy train."He answered:202 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Yes, travelling by train is rather trying in this weather."Vera said conventionally:"I do hope it lasts-the weather, I mean. Our English summers are sotreacherous." With a slight lack of originality Lombard asked:"Do you know this part of the world well?""No, Ive never been here before." She added quickly, conscientiously
  • determined to make her position clear at once, "I havent even seen myemployer yet." "Your employer?""Yes, Im Mrs. Owens secretary.""Oh, I see." Just imperceptibly his manner changed. It was slightly moreassured-easier in tone. He said: "Isnt that rather unusual?"Vera laughed."Oh, no, I dont think so. Her own secretary was suddenly taken ill and shewired to an agency for a substitute and they sent me.""So that was it. And suppose you dont like the post when youve gotthere?" Vera laughed again."Oh, its only temporary-a holiday post. Ive got a permanent job at agirls school. As a matter of fact Im frightfully thrilled at the prospectof seeing Indian Island. Theres been such a lot about it in the papers.Is it really very fascinating?"Lombard said:"I dont know. I havent seen it.""Oh, really? The Owens are frightfully keen on it, I suppose. What are theylike? Do tell me."Lombard thought: Awkward, this-am I supposed to have met them or not? Hesaid quickly:"Theres a wasp crawling up your arm. No-keep quite still." He made aconvincing pounce. "There. Its gone!""Oh, thank you. There are a lot of wasps about this summer.""Yes, I suppose its the heat. Who are we waiting for, do you know?" "Ihavent the least idea."The loud drawn out scream of an approaching train was heard. Lombard said:
  • "That will be the train now."AND THEN THERE WERE NONE2It was a tall soldierly old man who appeared at the eidt from the platform.His grey hair was clipped close and he had a neatly trimmed whitemoustache. His porter, staggering slightly under the weight of the solidleather suitcase, indicated Vera and Lombard.Vera came forward in a competent manner. She said:"I am Mrs. Owens secretary. There is a car here waiting." She added: "Thisis Mr. Lombard."The faded blue eyes, shrewd in spite of their age, sized up Lombard. Fora moment a judgment showed in them-had there been any one to read it."Good-looking fellow. Something just a little wrong about him. . . .)The three of them got into the waiting taxi. They drove through the sleepystreets of little Oakbridge and continued about a mile on the main Plymouthroad. Then they plunged into a maze of cross country lanes, steep, greenand narrow. General Macarthur said:"Dont know this part of Devon at all. My little place is in East Devon-just on the border-line of Dorset."Vera said:"It really is lovely here. The hills and the red earth and everything sogreen and luscious looking."
  • Philip Lombard said critically:"Its a bit shut in. . . . I like open country myself. Where you can seewhats coming. . . ."General Macarthur said to him:"Youve seen a bit of the world, I fancy?"Lombard shrugged his shoulders disparagingly."Ive knocked about here and there, sir."He thought to himself: "Hell ask me now if I was old enough to be in theWar. These old boys always do."But General Macarthur did not mention the War.204 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER3They came up over a steep hill and down a zig-zag, track to Sticklehaven-amere cluster of cottages with a fishing boat or two drawn up on the beach.Illuminated by the setting sun, they had their first glimpse of IndianIsland jutting up out of the sea to the south.Vera said, surprised:"Its a long way out."She had pictured it differently, close to shore, crowned with a beautifulwhite house. But there was no house visible, only the boldly silhouettedrock with its faint resemblance to a giant Indians head. There wassomething sinister about it. She shivered faintly.Outside a little inn, the Seven Stars, three people were sitting. There wasthe hunched elderly figure of the judge, the upright form of Miss Brent,
  • and a third man-a big bluff man who came forward and introduced himself."Thought we might as well wait for you," he said. "Make one trip of it.Allow me to introduce myself. Names Davis. Natal, South Africas, my natalspot, ha, ha!" He laughed breezily.Mr. Justice Wargrave looked at him with active malevolence. He seemed tobe wishing that he could order the court to be cleared. Miss Emily Brentwas clearly not sure if she liked Colonials."Any one care for a little nip before we embark?" asked Mr. Davishospitably. Nobody assenting to this proposition, Mr. Davis turned and heldup a finger. "Mustnt delay, then. Our good host and hostess will beexpecting us," he said. He might have noticed that a curious constraintcame over the other members of the party. It was as though the mention oftheir host and hostess had a curiously paralyzing effect upon the guests.In response to Davis beckoning finger, a man detached himself from anearby wall against which he was leaning and came up to them. His rollinggait proclaimed hirn a man of the sea. He had a weather-beaten face anddark eyes with a slightly evasive expression. He spoke in his soft Devonvoice.IAND THEN THERE WERE NONE"Will you be ready to be starting for the island, ladies and gentlemen? Theboats waiting. Theres two gentlemen coming by car, but Mr. Owens orders
  • was not to wait for them as they might arrive at any time."The party got up. Their guide led them along a small stone jetty. Alongsideit a motor boat was lying.Emily Brent said:"Thats a very small boat."The boats owner said persuasively:"Shes a fine boat, that, Maam. You could go to Plymouth in her as easyas winking.Mr. Justice Wargrave said sharply:"There are a good many of us.""Shed take double the number, sir."Philip Lombard said in his pleasant easy voice:"Its quite all right. Glorious weather-no swell."Rather doubtfully, Miss Brent permitted herself to be helped into the boat.The others followed suit. There was as yet no fraternizing among the party.It was as though each member of it was puzzled by the other members.They were just about to cast loose when their guide paused, boathook inhand. Down the steep track into the village a car was coming. A car sofantastically powerful, so superlatively beautiful that it had all thenature of an apparition. At the wheel sat a young man, his hair blown backby the wind. In the blaze of the evening light he looked, not a man, buta young God, a Hero God out of some Northern Saga.He touched the hom and a great roar of sound echoed from the rocks of thebay. It was a fantastic moment. In it, Anthony Marston seemed to besomething more than mortal. Afterwards, more than one of those presentremembered that moment.
  • 4Fred Narracott sat by the engine thinking to himself that this was a queerlot. Not at all his idea of what Mr. Owens guests were likely to be. Hedexpected something altogether more classy. Togged up206 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERwomen and gentlemen in yachting costume and all very rich and importantlooking. Not at all like Mr. Elmer Robsons parties. A faint grin came toFred Narracotts lips as he remembered the millionaires guests. That hadbeen a party if you like-and the drink theyd got through! This Mr. Owen must be a very different sort of gentleman. Funny it was,thought Fred, that hed never yet set eyes on Owen-,or his Missus either.Never been down here yet, he hadnt. Everything ordered and paid for bythat Mr. Morris. Instructions always very clear and payment prompt, but itwas odd, all the same. The papers said there was some mystery about Owen.Mr. Narracott agreed with them.Perhaps, after all, it was Miss Gabrielle Turl who had bought the island.But that theory departed from him as he surveyed his passengers. Not thislot-none of them looked likely to have anything to do with a film star.He summed them up dispassionately.One old maid-the sour kind-he knew them well enough. She was a Tartar, hecould bet. Old military gentleman-real Army by the look of him. Nicelooking young lady-but the ordinary kind, not glamourous-no Hollywood touch
  • about her. That bluff cheery genthe wasnt a real gentleman. Retiredtradesman, thats what he is, thought Fred Narracott. The other gentleman,the lean hungry looking gentleman with the quick eyes, he was a queer one,he was. Just possible he might have something to do with the pictures.No, there was only one satisfactory passenger in the boat. The lastgentleman, the one who had arrived in the car (and what a car! A car suchas had never been seen in Sticklehaven before. Must have cost hundreds andhundreds, a car like that.). He was the right kind. Born to money, he was.If the party had been all like him . hed understand it. . . .Queer business when you came to think of it-the whole thing was queer-veryqueer. .5The boat churned its way round the rock. Now at last the housecame into view. The south side of the island was quite different. It shelvedgently down to the sea. The house was there facing south-AND THEN THERE WERE NONE 207 low and square and modem-lookingwith rounded windows letting in allthe light. An exciting house-a house that lived up to expectation!Fred Narracott shut off the engine, they nosed their way gently into alittle natural inlet between rocks.Philip Lombard said sharply:"Must be difficult to land here in dirty weather."
  • Fred Narracott said cheerfully:"Cant land on Indian Island when theres a southeasterly. Sometimes tiscut off for a week or more."Vera Claythome thought:"The catering must be very difficult. Thats the worst of an island. Allthe domestic problems are so worrying."The boat grated against the rocks. Fred Narracott jumped out and he andLombard helped the others to alight. Narracott made the boat fast to a ringin the rock. Then he led the way up steps cut in the rock.General Macarthur said:"Ha, delightful spot!"But he felt uneasy. Damned odd sort of place.As the party ascended the steps, and came out on a terrace above, theirspirits revived. In the open doorway of the house a correct butler wasawaiting them, and something about his gravity reassured them. And then thehouse itself was really most attractive, the view from the terracemagnificent. . . .The butler came forward bowing slightly. He was a tall lank man, grey-haired and very respectable. He said:"Will you come this way, please?"In the wide hall drinks stood ready. Rows of bottles. Anthony Marstonsspirits cheered up a little. Hed just been thinking this was a rum kindof show. None of his lot! What could old Badger have been thinking aboutto let him in for this? However the drinks were all right. Plenty of ice,
  • too.What was it the butler chap was saying?Mr. Owen-unfortunately delayed-unable to get here till to-morrow.Instructions-everything they wanted-if they would like to go to theirrooms? . . . Dinner would be at 8 oclock. . . .208 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER6AND THEN THERE WERE NONE 209Vera had followed Mrs. Rogers upstairs. The woman had thrown open a doorat the end of a passage and Vera had walked into a delightful bedroom witha big window that opened wide upon the sea and another looking east. Sheuttered a quick exclarnation of pleasure.Mrs. Rogers was saying:"I hope youve got everything you want, Miss?"Vera looked round. Her luggage had been brought up and had been unpacked.At one side of the room a door stood open into a pale blue tiled bathroom.She said quickly:"Yes, everything, I think.""Youll ring the bell if you want anything, Miss?"Mrs. Rogers had a flat monotonous voice. Vera looked at her curiously. Whata white bloodless ghost of a woman! Very respectable looking, with her hairdragged back from her face and her black dress. Queer light eyes thatshifted the whole time from place to place.
  • Vera thought:"She looks frightened of her own shadow."Yes, that was it-frightened!She looked like a woman who walked in mortal fear. . . .A little shiver passed down Veras back. What on earth was the woman afraidof? She said pleasantly:"Im Mrs. Owens new secretary. I expect you know that."Mrs. Rogers said:"No, Miss, I dont know anything. Just a list of the ladies and gentlemenand what rooms they were to have."Vera said:"Mrs. Owen didnt mention me?"Mrs. Rogers eyelashes flickered."I havent seen Mrs. Owen-not yet. We only came here two days ago.))Extraordinary people, these Owens, thought Vera. Aloud she said:"What staff is there here?"3III
  • "Just me and Rogers, Miss."the host andVera frowned. Eight people in the house-ten withhostess-and only one married couple to do for them.Mrs. Rogers said:"Im a good cook and Rogers is handy about the house. I didnt know, ofcourse, that there was to be such a large party."Vera said:"But you can manage?""Oh, yes, Miss, I can manage. If theres to be large parties often, perhapsMrs. Owen could get extra help in."Vera said, "I expect so."Mrs. Rogers turned to go. Her feet moved noiselessly over the floor. Shedrifted from the room like a shadow.Vera went over to the window and sat down on the window seat. She wasfaintly disturbed. Everything-somehow-was a little queer. The absence ofthe Owens, the pale ghostlike Mrs. Rogers. And the guests! Yes, the guestswere queer too. An oddly assorted party.Vera thought:"I wish Id seen the Owens. . . . I wish I knew what they were like." Shegot up andwalked restlessly about the room. A perfect bedroom decorated throughout in the modem style. Off white rugson the gleaming parquet floor-faintly tinted walls-a long mirror surroundedby lights. A mantelpiece bare of ornaments save for an enormous block ofwhite marble shaped like a bear, a piece of modem sculpture in which wasinset a clock. Over it, in a gleaming chromium frame, was a big square ofparchment-a poem.
  • She stood in front of the fireplace and read it. It was the old nurseryrhyme that she remembered from her childhood days.Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and thenthere were nine.Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and thenthere were eight.Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said hed stay there andthen there were seven.Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halvesand then there were six.Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and thenthere were five.MASTERPIECES OF MURDERFive little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then therewere four.Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one andthen there were three.
  • Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and thenthere were two.Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and thenthere was one.One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and thenthere were none.Vera smiled. Of course! This was Indian Island!She went and sat again by the window looking out to sea.How big the sea was! From here there was no land to be seen anywhere-justa vast expanse of blue water rippling in the evening sun.The sea. . . . So peaceful to-day-sometimes so cruel . . . . The sea thatdragged you down to its depths. Drowned . . . . Found drowned. . . .drowned.Drowned at sea. . . . Drowned-drowned-No, she wouldnt remember. . . . She would not think of it! All that wasover. . . .7Dr. Armstrong came to Indian Island just as the sun was sinking into thesea. On the way across he had chatted to the boatman-a local man. He wasanxious to find out a little about these people who owned Indian Island,
  • but the man Narracott seemed curiously ill M*formed, or perhaps unwillingto talk.So Dr. Armstrong chatted instead of the weather and of fishing.He was tired after his long motor drive. His eyeballs ached. Driving westyou were driving against the sun.Yes, he was very tired. The sea and perfect peace-that was what he needed.He would like, really, to take a long holiday. But he couldnt afford todo that. He could afford it financially, of course, but he couldnt affordto drop out. You were soon forgotten nowadays. No, now that he had arrived,he must keep his nose to the grindstone.AND THEN THERE WERE NONE211He thought:"All the same, this evening, Ill imagine to myself that Im not goingback-that Ive done with London and Harley Street and all the rest of it."There was something magical about an island-the mere word suggestedfantasy. You lost touch with the world-an island was a world of its own.A world, perhaps, from which you might never return.He thought:"Im leaving my ordinary life behind me."And, smiling to himself, he began to make plans, fantastic plans for thefuture. He was still smiling when he walked up the rock cut steps.
  • In a chair on the terrace an old gentleman was sitting and the sight of himWas vaguely familiar to Dr. Armstrong. Where had he seen that frog-likeface, that tortoise-like neck, that hunched up attitudeyes, and those paleshrewd little eyes? Of course-old Wargrave. Hed given evidence once beforehim. Always looked half asleep, but was shrewd as could be when it came toa point of law. Had great power with a jury-it was said he could make theirminds up for them any day of the week. Hed got one or two unlikelyconvictions out of them. A hanging judge, some people said.Funny place to meet him . . . here-out of the world.8Mr. Justice Wargrave thought to himself:"Armstrong? Remember him in the witness box. Very correct and cautious. Alldoctors are damned fools. Harley Street ones are the worst of the lot." Andhis mind dwelt malevolently on a recent interview he had had with a suavepersonage in that very street.Aloud he grunted:"Drinks are in the hall."Dr. Armstrong said:"I must go and pay my respects to my host and hostess."Mr. Justice Wargrave closed his eyes again, looking decidedly reptilian,and said:"You cant do that."212 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER
  • Dr. Armstrong was startled."Why not?"The judge said:"No host and hostess. Very curious state of affairs. Dont understand thisplace."Dr. Armstrong stared at him for a minute. When he thought the old gentlemanhad actually gone to sleep, Wargrave said suddenly:"Dyou know Constance Culmington?""Er-no, Im afraid I dont.""Its of no consequence," said the judge. "Very vague woman-and practicallyunreadable handwriting. I was just wondering if Id come to the wronghouse." Dr. Armstrong shook his head and went on up to the house.Mr. Justice Wargrave reflected on the subject of Constance Culmington.Undependable like all women.His mind went on to the two women in the house, the tight-lipped old maidand the girl. He didnt care for the girl, cold-blooded young hussy. No,three women, if you counted the Rogers woman. Odd creature, she lookedscared to death. Respectable pair and knew their job.Rogers coming out on the terrace that minute, the judge asked him: "IsLady Constance Culmington expected, do you know?"Rogers stared at him."No, Sir, not to my knowledge."The judges eyebrows rose. But he only grunted.He thought:"Indian Island, eh? Theres a nigger in the woodpile."
  • 9Anthony Marston was in his bath. He luxuriated in the steaming water. Hislimbs had felt cramped after his long drive. Very few thoughts passedthrough his head. Anthony was a creature of sensation-and of action.He thought to himself:"Must go through with it, I suppose," and thereafter dismissed everythingfrom his mind.1.I11AND THEN THERE WERE NONE213Warm steaming water-tired limbs-presently a shave-a cocktaildinner. Andafter-?10Mr. Blore was tying his tie. He wasnt very good at this sort of thing.Did he look all right? He supposed so.Nobody had been exactly cordial to him. all eyed each other-as though they
  • knew.Well, it was up to him.He didnt mean to bungle his job.He glanced up at the framed nursery rhyme over the mantelpiece.Neat touch, having that there!He thought:Remember this island when I was a kid. Never thought Id be doing this sortof a job in a house here. Good thing, perhaps, that one cant foresee thefuture. . Funny the way they11General Macarthur was frowning to himself.Damn it all, the whole thing was deuced odd! Not at all what hed been ledto expect. . . .For two pins hed make an excuse and get away. the whole business. . . .But the motor boat had gone back to the mainland.Hed have to stay.That fellow Lombard now, he was a queer chap.Not straight. Hed swear the man wasnt straight.12
  • . . Throw upAs the gong sounded, Philip Lombard came out of his room and walked to thehead of the stairs. He moved like a panther, smoothly214and noiselessly. There was something of the panther about him altogether.A beast of prey-pleasant to the eye. He was smiling to himself . A week-eh?He was going to enjoy that week.MASTERPIECES OF MURDER13In her bedroom, Emily Brent, dressed in black silk ready for dinner, wasreading her Bible.Her lips moved as she followed the words:"The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which theyhid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which heexecuteth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. The wickedshall be turned into hell."Her tight lips closed. She shut the Bible.Rising, she pinned a cairngorm brooch at her neck, and went down to dinner.CHAPTER 3
  • DINNER WAS drawing to a close.The food had been good, the wine perfect. Rogers waited well.Every one was in better spirits. They had begun to talk to each other withmore freedom and intimacy.Mr. Justice Wargrave, mellowed by the excellent port, was being amusing ina caustic fashion, Dr. Armstrong and Tony Marston were listening to him.Miss Brent chatted to General Macarthur, they had discovered some mutualfriends. Vera Claythorne was asking Mr. Davis intelligent questions aboutSouth Africa. Mr. Davis was quite fluent on the subject. Lombard listenedto the conversation. Once or twice he looked up quickly, and his eyesnarrowed. Now and then his eyes played round the table, studying theothers.Anthony Marston said suddenly:"Quaint, these things, arent they?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE215In the centre of the round table, on a circular glass stand, were somelittle china figures."Indians," said Tony. "Indian Island. I suppose thats the idea."Vera leaned forward."I wonder. How many are there? Ten?""Yes-ten there are."
  • Vera cried:"What fun! Theyre the ten little Indian boys of the nursery rhyme, Isuppose. In my bedroom the rhyme is framed and hung up over themantelpiece." Lombard said:"In my room, too.""And mine.""And mine."Everybody joined the chorus. Vera said:"Its an amusing idea, isnt it?"Mr. Justice Wargrave grunted:"Remarkably childish," and helped himself to port.Emily Brent looked at Vera Claythorne. Vera Claythorne looked at MissBrent. The two women rose.In the drawing-room, the French windows were open onto the terrace and thesound of the sea murmuring against the rocks came up to them.Emily Brent said: "Pleasant sound."Vera said sharply: "I hate it."Miss Brents eyes looked at her in surprise. Vera flushed. She said, morecomposedly:"I dont think this place would be very agreeable in a storm."Emily Brent agreed."Ive no doubt the house is shut up in winter," she said. "Youd never getservants to stay here for one thing."Vera murmured:"It must be difficult to get servants anyway."Emily Brent said:
  • "Mrs. Oliver has been lucky to get these two. The womans a good cook."Vera thou(yht:"Funny how elderly people always get names wrong."She said:"Yes, I think Mrs. Owen has been very lucky indeed."Emily Brent had brought a small piece of embroidery out of her216 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERbag. Now, as she was about to thread her needle, she paused. She saidsharply: "Owen? Did you say Owen?""Yes."Emily Brent said sharply:"Ive never met any one called Owen in my life."Vera stared."But surely-"She did not finish her sentence. The door opened and the men joined them.Rogers followed them into the room with the coffee tray.The judge came and sat down by Emily Brent. Armstrong came up to Vera. TonyMarston strolled to the open window. Blore studied with na*fve surprise astatuette in brass-wondering perhaps if its bizarre angularities were reallysupposed to be the female figure. General Macarthur stood with his back tothe mantelpiece. He pulled at his little white moustache. That had been adamned good dinner! His spirits were rising. Lombard turned over the pagesof Punch that lay with other papers on a table by the wall.Rogers went round with the coffee tray. The coffee was goodreally black and
  • very hot.The whole party had dined well. They were satisfied with themselves andwith life. The hands of the clock pointed to twenty minutes past nine.There was a silence-a comfortable replete silence.Into that silence came The Voice. Without warning, inhuman, penetrating .. . "Ladies and gentlemen! Silence, please I"Every one was startled. They looked round-at each other, at the walls. Whowas speaking?The Voice went on-a high clear voice.You are charged with the following indictments:Edward George Armstrong, that you did upon the 14th day of March, 1925,cause the death of Louisa Mary Clees.Emily Caroline Brent, that upon the 5th November, 1931, you wereresponsible for the death of Beatrice Taylor.William Henry Blore, that you brought about the death of James StephenLandor on October 10th, 1928.Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, that on the 11th day of August, 1935, you killedCyril Ogilvie Hamilton.Philip Lombard, that upon a date in February, 1932, you wereAND THEN THERE WERE NONE217guilty of the death of twenty-one men, members of an East African tribe.John Gordon Macarthur, that on the 4th of January, 1917, you deliberately
  • sent your wifes lover, Arthur Richmond, to his death.Anthony James Marston, that upon the 14th day of November last, you wereguilty of the murder of John and Lucy Combes.Thomas Rogers and Ethel Rogers, that on the 6th of May, 1929, you broughtabout the death of Jennifer Brady.Lawrence John Wargrave, that upon the 10th day of June, 1930, you wereguilty of the murder of Edward Seton.Prisoners at the bar, have you anything to say in your defence?2The Voice had stopped.There was a moments petrified silence and then a resounding crash! Rogershad dropped the coffee tray!At the same moment, from somewhere outside the room there came a scream andthe sound of a thud.Lombard was the first to move. He leapt to the door and flung it open.Outside, lying in a huddled mass, was Mrs. Rogers.Lombard called:"Marston."Anthony sprang to help him. Between them, they lifted up the woman andcarried her into the drawing-room.Dr. Armstrong came across quickly. He helped them to lift her onto the sofaand bent over her. He said quickly:"Its nothing. Shes fainted, thats all. Shell be round in a minute."
  • Lombard said to Rogers:"Get some brandy."Rogers, his face white, his hands shaking, murmured:"Yes, sir," and slipped quickly out of the room.Vera cried out:"Who was that speaking? Where was he? It sounded-it sounded-"General Macarthur spluttered out:"Whats going on here? What kind of a practical joke was that?"His hand was shaking. His shoulders sagged. He looked suddenly ten yearsolder. Blore was mopping his face with a handkerchief.218 MASTERPIECES OF MURDEROnly Mr. Justice Wargrave and Miss Brent seemed comparatively unmoved.Emily Brent sat upright, her head held high. In both cheeks was a spot ofhard colour. The judge sat in his habitual pose, his head sunk down intohis neck. With one hand he gently scratched his ear. Only his eyes wereactive, darting round and round the room, puzzled, alert with intelligence.Again it was Lombard who acted. Armstrong being busy with the collapsedwoman, Lombard was free once more to take the initiative.He said:"That voice? It sounded as though it were in the room."Vera cried:"Who was it? Who was it? It wasnt one of us."Like the judge, Lombards eyes wandered slowly round the room. They resteda minute on the open window, then he shook his head decisively. Suddenlyhis eyes lighted up. He moved forward swiftly to where a door near the
  • fireplace led into an adjoining room.With a swift gesture, he caught the handle and flung the door open. Hepassed through and immediately uttered an exclamation of satisfaction.He said:"All, here we are."The others crowded after him. Only Miss Brent remained alone sitting erectin her chair.Inside the second room a table had been brought up close to the wall whichadjoined the drawing-room. On the table was a gramophone-an old-fashionedtype with a large trumpet attached. The mouth of the trumpet was againstthe wall, and Lombard, pushing it aside, indicated where two or three smallholes had been unobtrusively bored through the wall.Adjusting the gramophone he replaced the needle on the record andimmediately they heard again: "You are charged with the followingindictments-" Vera cried:"Turn it off! Turn it off! Its horrible!"Lombard obeyed.Dr. Armstrong said, with a sigh of relief:"A disgraceful and heartless practical joke, I suppose."The small clear voice of Mr. Justice Wargrave murmured:"So you think its a joke, do you?"Tile doctor stared at him."Wh"t ~1- -Il it 1-911AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • f219The hand of the judge gently stroked his upper lip.He said:"At the moment Im not prepared to give an opinion."Anthony Marston broke in. He said:"Look here, theres one thing youve forgotten. Who the devil turned thething on and set it going?"Wargrave murmured:"Yes, I think we must inquire into that."He led the way back into the drawing-room. The others followed.Rogers had just come in with a glass of brandy. Miss Brent was bending overthe moaning form of Mrs. Rogers.Adroitly Rogers slipped between the two women."Allow me, Madam, Ill speak to her. Ethel-Ethel-its all right. All right,do you hear? Pull yourself together."Mrs. Rogers breath came in quick gasps. Her eyes, staring frightened eyes,went round and round the ring of faces. There was urgency in Rogers tone."Pull yourself together, Ethel."Dr. Armstrong spoke to her soothingly."Youll be all right now, Mrs. Rogers. Just a nasty turn."She said:"Did I faint, sir?"
  • "Yes."It was The Voice-that awful voice-like a judgment-"Her face turned green again, her eyelids fluttered.Dr. Armstrong said sharply:"Wheres that brandy?"Rogers had put it down on a little table. Some one handed it to the doctorand he bent over the gasping woman with it."Drink this, Mrs. Rogers."She drank, choking a little and gasping. The spirit did her good. Thecolour returned to her face. She said:"Im all right now. It just-gave me a turn."Rogers said quickly:"Of course it did. It gave me a turn too. Fair made me drop that tray.Wicked lies, it was! Id like to know-"He was interrupted. It was only a cough-a dry little cough but it elhad the effect of stopping him in full cry. He stared at Mr. JusticeWargrave and the latter coughed again. Then lie said: "Who put that recordon the gramophone? Was it you, Rogers?" Rogers cried:220 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"I didnt know what it was. Before God, I didnt know what it was, sir. IfI had Id never have done it."The judge said drily:"That is probably true. But I think youd better explain, Rogers.
  • The butler wiped his face with a handkerchief. He said earnestly:"I was just obeying orders, Sir, thats all.""Whose orders?""Mr. Owens."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"Let me get this quite clear. Mr. Owens orders were-what exactly?"Rogers said:"I was to put a record on the gramophone. Id find the record mi the drawerand my wife was to start the gramophone when Id gone into the drawing-roomwith the coffee tray."The judge murmured:"A very remarkable story."Rogers cried:"Its the truth, sir. I swear to God its the truth. I didnt know what itwas-not for a moment. It had a name on it-I thought it was just a piece ofmusic."Wargrave looked at Lombard."Was there a title on it?"Lombard nodded. He grinned suddenly, showing his white pointed teeth. Hesaid:"Quite right, Sir. It was entitled Swan Song. . . ."3General Macarthur broke out suddenly. He exclaimed:
  • "The whole thing is preposterous-preposterous! Slinging accusations aboutlike this! Something must be done about it. This fellow Owen whoever he is-" Emily Brent interrupted. She said sharply:"Thats just it, who is he?"The judge interposed. He spoke with the authority that a lifetime in thecourts had given him. He said:"That is exactly what we must go into very carefully. I should sug-AND THEN THERE WERE NONEgest that you get your wife to bed first of afl, Rogers. Then come backhere." "Yes, Sir."Dr. Armstrong said:"Ill give you a hand, Rogers."Leaning on the two men, Mrs. Rogers tottered out of the room. When they hadgone Tony Marston said:"Dont know about you, Sir, but I could do with a drink."Lombard said:"I agree."Tony said:"Ill go and forage."He went out of the room.He returned a second or two later."Found them all waiting on a tray outside ready to be brought in." He setdown his burden carefully. The next minute or two was spent in dispensingdrinks. General Macarthur had a stiff whiskey and so did the judge. Every
  • one felt the need of a stimulant. Only Emily Brent demanded and obtained aglass of water. Dr. Armstrong re-entered the room."Shes all right," he said. "Ive given her a sedative to take. Whatsthat, a drink? I could do with one."Several of the men refilled their glasses. A moment or two later Rogersre-entered the room.Mr. Justice Wargrave took charge of the proceedings. The room became animpromptu court of law.The judge said:"Now then, Rogers, we must get to the bottom of this. Who is this Mr.Owen?" Rogers stared."He owns this place, Sir.""I am aware of the fact. What I want you to teH me is what you yourselfknow about the man."Rogers shook his head."I cant say, Sir. You see, Ive never seen him."There was a faint stir in the room.General Macarthur said:"Youve never seen him? What dyer mean?""Weve only been here just under a week, Sir, my wife and 1. We wereengaged by letter, through an agency. The Regina Agency in Plymouth."222 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERBlore nodded."Old established firm," he volunteered.Wargrave said:
  • "Have you got that letter?"`I letter engaging us? No, Sir. I didnt keep it.""Go on with your story. You were engaged, as you say, by letter.""Yes, sir. We were to arrive on a certain day. We did. Everything was inorder here. Plenty of food in stock and everything very nice. Just neededdusting and that.""What next?""Nothing, sir. We got orders-by letter again-to prepare the rooms for ahouseparty and then yesterday by the afternoon post I got another letter fromMr. Owen. It said he and Mrs. Owen were detained and to do the best wecould and it gave the instructions about dinner and coffee and putting onthe gramophone record."The judge said sharply:"Surely youve got that letter?""Yes, Sir, Ive got it here."He produced it from a pocket. The judge took it."Hm," he said. "Headed Ritz Hotel and typewritten."With a quick movement Blore was beside him.He said:"If youll just let me have a look."He twitched it out of the others hand, and ran his eye over it. Hemurmured: "Coronation machine. Quite new-no defects. Ensign paper-the mostwidely used make. You wont get anything out of that. Might befingerprints, but I doubt it." Wargrave stared at him with suddenattention.
  • Anthony Marston was standing beside Blore looking over his shoulder. Hesaid: "Got some fancy Christian names, hasnt he? Ulick Norman Owen. Quitea mouthful." The old judge said with a slight start:"I am obliged to you, Mr. Marston. You have drawn my attention to a curiousand suggestive point."He looked round at the others and thrusting his neck forward like an angrytortoise, he said:"I think the time has come for us all to pool our information. It would bewell, I think, for everybody to come forward with all the information theyhave regarding the owner of this house." He pausedAND THEN THERE WERE NONE223and then went on. "We are all his guests. I think it would be profitable ifeach one of us were to explain exactly how that came about."There was a moments pause and then Emily Brent spoke with decision."Theres something very peculiar about all this," she said. "I received aletter with a signature that was not very easy to read. It purported to befrom a woman I had met at a certain summer resort two or three years ago.I took the name to be either Ogden or Oliver. I am acquainted with a Mrs.Oliver and also with a Miss Ogden. I am quite certain that I have nevermet, or become friendly with, anyone of the name of Owen."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"You have that letter, Miss Brent?"
  • "Yes, I will fetch it for you."She went away and returned a minute later with the letter.The judge read it. He said:"I begin to understand. . . . Miss Claythorne?"Vera explained the circumstances of her secretarial engagement. The judgesaid: "Marston?"Anthony said:"Got a wire. From a pal of mine. Badger Berkeley. Surprised me at the timebecause I had an idea the old horse had gone to Norway. Told me to roll uphere." Again Wargrave nodded. He said:"Dr. Armstrong?""I was called in professionally.""I see. You had no previous acquaintanceship with the family?" "No. Acolleague of mine was mentioned in the letter."The judge said:"To give verisimilitude. . . . Yes, and that colleague, I presume, wasmomentarily out of touch with you?""Well-er-yes."Lombard, who had been staring at Blore, said suddenly:"Look here, Ive just thought of something-"The judge lifted a hand."In a minute-""But 1-1)"We will take one thing at a time, Mr. Lombard. We are at present inquiringinto the causes which have resulted in our being assembled here to-night.
  • General Macarthur?"224 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERPulling at his moustache, the General muttered:"Got a letter-from this fellow Owen-mentioned some old pals of mine whowere to be here-hoped Id excuse informal invitation. Havent kept theletter, Im afraid."Wargrave said:"Mr. Lombard?"Lombards brain had been active. Was he to come out in the open, or not?He made up his mind."Same sort of thing," he said. "Invitation, mentioned of mutual friends-Ifell for it all right. Ive tom up the letter."Mr. Justice Wargrave turned his attention to Mr. Blore. His forefingerstroked his upper lip and his voice was dangerously polite.He said: "Just now we had a somewhat disturbing experience. An apparentlydisembodied voice spoke to us all by name, uttering certain preciseaccusations against us. We will deal with those accusations presently. Atthe moment I am interested in a minor point. Amongst the names recited wasthat of William Henry Blore. But as far as we know there is no one namedBlore amongst us. The name of Davis was not mentioned. What have you to sayabout that, Mr. Davis?" Blore said sulkily:"Cats out of the bag, it seems. I suppose Id better admit that my nameisnt Davis.""You are William Henry Blore?""Thats right."
  • "I will add something," said Lombard. "Not only are you here under a falsename, Mr. Blore, but in addition Ive noticed this evening that youre afirst-class liar. You claim to have come from Natal, South Africa. I knowSouth Africa and Natal and Im prepared to swear that youve never set footin South Africa in your life."All eyes were turned on Blore. Angry suspicious eyes. Anthony Marston moveda step nearer to him. His fists clenched themselves."Now then, you swine," he said. "Any explanation?"Blore flung back his head and set his square jaw."You gentlemen have got me wrong," he said. "Ive got my credentials andyou can see them. Im an ex-C.I.D. man. I run a detective agency inPlymouth. I was put on this job."Mr. Justice Wargrave asked: "By whom?""This man Owen. Enclosed a handsome money order for expenses and instructedme as to what he wanted done. I was to join theAND THEN THERE WERE NONEhouseparty, posing as a guest. I was given all your names. I was to watchyou all.""Any reason given?"Blore said bitterly:"Mrs. Owens jewels. Mrs. Owen my foot! I dont believe theres any suchperson." Again the forefinger of the judge stroked his lip, this timeappreciatively. "Your conclusions are, I think, justified," he said. "Ulick
  • Norman Owen! In Miss Brents letter, though the signature of the surnameis a mere scrawl the Christian names are reasonably clear-Una Nancy -ineither case, you notice, the same initials. Ulick Norman OwenUna NancyOwen-each time, that is to say, U. N. Owen. Or by a slight stretch offancy, UNKNOWN!"Vera cried:"But this is fantastic-mad!"The judge nodded gently.He said:"Oh, yes. Ive no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here bya madman-probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic."CHAPTER 4THERE WAS a moments silence-a silence of dismay and bewilderment. Then thejudges small clear voice took up the thread once more."We will now proceed to the next stage of our inquiry. First, however, Iwill just add my own credentials to the list."He took a letter from his pocket and tossed it onto the table."This purports to be from an old friend of mine, Lady Constance Culmington.I have not seen her for some years. She went to the East. It is exactly thekind of vague incoherent letter she would write, urging me to join her hereand referring to her host and hostess in the vaguest of terms. The sametechnique, you will observe. I only mention it because it agrees with theother evidence-from all of which emerges one interesting point. Whoever itwas who enticed us here, that person knows or has taken the trouble to find
  • out a good deal about us all. He, whoever he may be, is aware of myfriendship for 226MASTERPIECES OF MURDERLady Constance-and is familiar with her epistolary style. He knows somethingabout Dr. Armstrongs colleagues and their present whereabouts. He knows thenickname of Mr. Marstons friend and the kind of telegrams he sends. Heknows exactly where Miss Brent was two years ago for her holiday and thekind of people she met there. He knows all about General Macarthurs oldcronies."He paused. Then he said:"He knows, you see, a good deal. And out of his knowledge concerning us,he has made certain definite accusations."Immediately a babel broke out.General Macarthur shouted:"A pack of damn lies! Slander!"Vera cried out:"Its iniquitous!" Her breath came fast. "Wicked!"Rogers said hoarsely:"A lie-a wicked lie . . . we never did-neither of us.Anthony Marston growled:"Dont know what the damned fool was getting at!"The upraised hand of Mr. Justice Wargrave calmed the tumult.He said, picking his words with care:
  • "I wish to say this. Our unknown friend accuses me of the murder of oneEdward Seton. I remember Seton perfectly well. He came up before me fortrial in June of the year 1930. He was charged with the murder of anelderly woman. He was very ably defended and made a good impression on thejury in the witness box. Nevertheless, on the evidence, he was certainlyguilty. I summed up accordingly, and the jury brought in a verdict ofGuilty. In passing sentence of death I concurred with the verdict. Anappeal was lodged on the grounds of misdirection. The appeal was rejectedand the man was duly executed. I wish to say before you all that myconscience is perfectly clear on the matter. I did my duty and nothingmore. I passed sentence on a rightly convicted murderer."Armstrong was remembering now. The Seton case! The verdict had come as agreat surprise. He had met Matthews, K.C., on one of the days of the trialdining at a restaurant. Matthews had been confident. "Not a doubt of theverdict. Acquittal practically certain." And then afterwards he had heardcomments: "Judge was dead against him. Turned the jury right round and theybrought him in guilty. Quite legal, though. Old Wargrave knows his law.""it was almost as though he had a private down on the fellow."All these memories rushed through the doctors mind. Before heAND THEN THERE WERE NONEcould consider the wisdom of the question he had asked impulsively: "Didyou know Seton at all? I mean previous to the case."The hooded reptilian eyes met his. In a clear cold voice the judge said:
  • "I knew nothing of Seton previous to the case."Armstrong said to himself:"The fellows lying-I know hes lying."2Vera Claythorne spoke in a trembling voice. She said:"Id like to tell you. About that child-Cyril Hamilton. I was nurserygoverness to him. He was forbidden to swim out far. One day, when myattention was distracted, he started off. I swam after him I couldnt get there in time. . . . It was awful. . . . But it wasnt myfault. At the inquest the Coroner exonerated me. And his mother-she wasso kind. If even she didnt blame me, why shouldwhy should this awfulthing be said? Its not f air-not fair.She broke down, weeping bitterly.General Macarthur patted her shoulder. He said:)I"There, there, my dear. Of course its not true. Fellows a madman. Amadman! Got a bee in his bonnet! Got hold of the wrong end of the stick allround." He stood erect, squaring his shoulders. He barked out:"Best really to leave this sort of thing unanswered. However, feel I oughtto say-no truth-no truth whatever in what he said about-eryoung ArthurRichmond. Richmond was one of my officers. I sent him on a reconnaissance.He was killed. Natural course of events in war time. Wish to say resent
  • very much-slur on my wife. Best woman in the world. Absolutely-Caesarswife!"General Macarthur sat down. His shaking hand pulled at his moustache. Theeffort to speak had cost him a good deal.Lombard spoke. His eyes were amused. He said:"About those natives-"Marston said:"What about them?"Philip Lombard grinned.228 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Storys quite true! I left em! Matter of self-preservation. We were lostin the bush. I and a couple of other fellows took what food there was andcleared out." General Macarthur said sternly:"You abandoned your men-left them to starve?"Lombard said:"Not quite the act of a pukka sahib, Im afraid. But self-preservationsa mans first duty. And natives dont mind dying, you know. They dont feelabout it as Europeans do."Vera lifted her face from her hands. She said, staring at him:"You left them-to die?"Lombard answered:"I left them to die."His amused eyes looked into her horrified ones.Anthony Marston said in a slow puzzled voice:
  • "Ive just been thinking-John and Lucy Combes. Must have been a couple ofkids I ran over near Cambridge. Beastly bad luck."Mr. Justice Wargrave said acidly:"For them, or for you?"Anthony said:"Well, I was thinking-for me-but of course, youre right, Sir, it wasdamned bad luck on them. Of course it was a pure accident. They rushed outof some cottage or other. I had my licence endorsed for a year. Beastlynuisance." Dr. Armstrong said warmly:"This speedings all wrong-all wrong! Young men like you are a danger tothe community."Anthony shrugged his shoulders.He said:"Speeds come to stay. English roads are hopeless, of course. Cant get upa decent pace on them."He looked round vaguely for his glass, picked it up off a table and wentover to the side table and helped himself to another whiskey and soda. Hesaid over his shoulder:"Well, anyway, it wasnt my fault. Just an accident!"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE3229
  • The manservant, Rogers, had been moistening his lips and twisting hishands. He said now in a low deferential voice:"If I might just say a word, Sir."Lombard said:"Go ahead, Rogers."Rogers cleared his throat and passed his tongue once more over his drylips. "There was a mention, sir, of me and Mrs. Rogers. And of Miss Brady.There isnt a word of truth in it, sir. My wife and I were with Miss Bradytill she died. She was always in poor health, Sir, always from the time wecame to her. There was a storm, Sir, that night-the night she was takenbad. The telephone was out of order. We couldnt get the doctor to her. Iwent for him, sir, on foot. But he got there too late. Wed done everythingpossible for her, Sir. Devoted to her, we were. Any one will tell you thesame. There was never a word said against us. Not a word."Lombard looked thoughtfully at the mans twitching face, his dry lips, thefright in his eyes. He remembered the crash of the falling coffee tray. Hethought, but did not say, "Oh, yeah?"Blore spoke-spoke in his hearty bullying official manner.He said:"Came into a little something at her death, though? Eh?"Rogers drew himself up. He said stiffly: -"Miss Brady left us a legacy in recognition of our faithful services. Andwhy not, Id like to know?"Lombard said:"What about yourself, Mr. Blore?"
  • "What about me?""Your name was included in the list."Blore went purple."Landor, you mean? That was the bank robbery-London and Commercial." Mr.Justice Wargrave stirred. He said:"I remember. It didnt come before me, but I remember the case. Landor wasconvicted on your evidence. You were the police officer in charge of thecase?" 230 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERBlore said:iti was.""Landor got penal servitude for life and died in Dartmoor a year later. Hewas a delicate man."Blore said:"He was a crook. It was he who knocked out the night watchman. The case wasquite clear against him."Wargave said slowly:"You were complimented, I think, on your able handling of the case."Blore said sulkily:"I got my promotion."He added in a thick voice:"I was only doing my duty."Lombard laughed-a sudden ringing laugh. He said:
  • "What a duty-loving, law-abiding lot we all seem to be! Myself excepted.What about you, doctor-and your little professional mistake? Illegaloperation, was it?"Emily Brent glanced at him in sharp distaste and drew herself away alittle. Dr. Armstrong, very much master of himself, shook his headgoodhumouredly. "Im at a loss to understand the matter," he said. "Thename meant nothing to me when it was spoken. What was it-Clees? Close? Ireally cant remember having a patient of that name, or being connectedwith a death in any way. The things a complete mystery to me. Of course,its a long time ago. It might possibly be one of my operation cases inhospital. They come too late, so many of these people. Then, when thepatient dies, they always consider its the surgeons fault." He sighed,shaking his head.He thought:Drunk-thats what it was-drunk. And I operated! Nerves all to pieces-handsshaking. I killed her, all right. Poor devil-elderly woman-simple job if Idbeen sober. Lucky for me theres loyalty in our profession. The Sisterknew, of course-but she held her tongue. God, it gave me a shock! Pulledme up. But who could have known about it-af ter all these years?AND THEN THERE WERE NONE4231
  • There was a silence in the room. Everybody was looking, covertly or openly,at Emily Brent. It was a minute or two before she became aware of theexpectation. Her eyebrows rose on her narrow forehead. She said:"Are you waiting for me to say something? I have nothing to say." The judgesaid: "Nothing, Miss Brent?""Nothing."Her lips closed tightly.The judge stroked his face. He said mildly:"You reserve your defence?"Miss Brent said coldly:"There is no question of defence. I have always acted in accordance withthe dictates of my conscience. I have nothing with which to reproachmyself." There was an unsatisfied feeling in the air. But Emily Brent wasnot one to be swayed by public opinion. She sat unyielding.The judge cleared his throat once or twice. Then he said:"Our inquiry rests there. Now, Rogers, who else is there on this islandbesides ourselves and you and your wife?""Nobody, Sir. Nobody at all.""Youre sure of that?""Quite sure, Sir."Wargrave said:"I am not yet clear as to the purpose of our Unknown host in getting us toassemble here. But in my opinion this person, whoever he may be, is not sanein the accepted sense of the word."He may be dangerous. In my opinion it would be well for us to leave this
  • place as soon as possible. I suggest that we leave to-night."Rogers said:"I beg your pardon, sir, but theres no boat on the island.""No boat at all?""No, sir.""How do you communicate with the mainland?""Fred Narracott, he comes over every morning, sir. He brings the bread andthe milk and the post, and takes the orders."232 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERMr. Justice Wargrave said:"Then in my opinion it would be well if we all left to-morrow morning assoon as Narracotts boat arrives."There was a chorus of agreement with only one dissentient voice. It wasAnthony Marston who disagreed with the majority."A bit unsporting, what?" he said. "Ought to ferret out the mystery beforewe go. Whole things like a detective story. Positively thrilling."The judge said acidly:"At my time of life, I have no desire for thrills, as you call them."Anthony said with a grin:"The legal lifes narrowing! Im all for crime! Heres to it."He picked up his drink and drank it off at a gulp. IToo quickly, perhaps. He choked-choked badly. His face contorted, turnedpurple. He gasped for breath-then slid down off his chair, the glass fallingfrom his hand.
  • CHAPTER 5IT WAS so sudden and so unexpected that it took every ones breath away.They remained stupidly staring at the crumpled figure on the floor.Then Dr. Armstrong jumped up and went over to him, kneeling beside him.When he raised his head his eyes were bewildered.He said in a low awe-struck whisper:"My God! hes dead."They didnt take it in. Not at once.Dead? Dead? That young Norse God in the prime of his health and strength.Struck down all in a moment. Healthy young men didnt die like that, chokingover a whiskey and soda. . . .No, they couldnt take it in.Dr. Armstrong was peering into the dead mans face. He sniffed at the bluetwisted lips. Then he picked up the glass from which Anthony Marston hadbeen drinking.General Macarthur said:"Dead? Dyou mean the fellow just choked and-and died?"The physician said:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE233"You can call it choking if you like. He died of asphyxiation right
  • enough." He was sniffing now at the glass. He dipped a finger into thedregs and very cautiously just touched the finger with the tip of histongue.His expression altered.General Macarthur said:"Never knew a man could die like that-just of a choking fit!"Emily Brent said in a clear voice:"In the midst of life we are in death."Dr. Annstrong stood up. He said brusquely:"No, a man doesnt die of a mere choking fit. Marstons death wasnt whatwe call a natural death."Vera said almost in a whisper:"Was there-something-in the whiskey?"Armstrong nodded."Yes. Cant say exactly. Everything points to one of the Cyanides. Nodistinctive smell of Prussic Acid, probably Potassium Cyanide. It actspretty well instantaneously."The judge said sharply:"It was in his glass?""Yes.The doctor strode to the table where the drinks were. He removed thestopper from the whiskey and smelt and tasted it. Then he tasted the sodawater. He shook his head."Theyre both all right."Lombard said:"You mean-he must have put the stuff in his glass himself?"
  • Armstrong nodded with a curiously dissatisfied expression. He said: "Seemslike it." Blore said: "Suicide, eh? Thats a queer go. Vera said slowly: "Youd never think that he would kill himself. He was so alive. He was-oh---enjoying himself! When he came down the hill in his car this evening he looked-he looked-oh, I cant explain!" But they knew what she meant. Anthony Marston, in the height of his youthand manhood, had seemed like a being who was immortal. And now, crumpledand broken, he lay on the floor. Dr. Armstrong said: "Is there any possibility other than suicide?" 234 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER Slowly every one shook his head. There could be no other explanation. Thedrinks themselves were untampered with. They had all seen Anthony Marstongo across and help himself. It followed therefore that any Cyanide in thedrink must have been put there by Anthony Marston himself. And yet-why should Anthony Marston commit suicide? Blore said thoughtfully: "You know, doctor, it doesnt seem right to me. I shouldnt have said Mr.Marston was a suicidal type of gentleman." Armstrong answered: "I agree."
  • I2They had left it like that. What else was there to say? Together Armstrongand Lombard had carried the inert body of Anthony Marston to his bedroom andhad laid him there covered over with a sheet. When they came downstairsagain, the others were standing in a group, shivering a little, though thenight was not cold. Emily Brent said: "Wed better go to bed. Its late."It was past twelve oclock. The suggestion was a wise one-yet every onehesitated. It was as though they clung to each others company forreassurance. The judge said: "Yes, we must get some sleep." Rogers said: "Ihavent cleared yet-in the dining-room." Lombard said curtly: "Do it in themorning." Armstrong said to him: "Is your wife all right?" "Ill go and see,Sir." He returned a minute or two later. "Sleeping beautiful, she is.""Good," said the doctor. "Dont disturb her." "No, sir. Ill just put thingsstraight in the dining-room and make sure everythings locked up right, andthen Ill turn in." He went across the hall into the dining-room.AND THEN THERE WERE NONEThe others went upstairs, a slow unwilling procession.If this had been an old house, with creaking wood, and dark shadows, andheavily panelled walls, there might have been an eerie feeling. But thishouse was the essence of modernity. There were no dark comers-no possible
  • sliding panels-it was flooded with electric lighteverything was new andbright and shining. There was nothing hidden in this house, nothingconcealed. It had no atmosphere about it. Somehow, that was the mostfrightening thing of all.They exchanged good-nights on the upper landing. Each of them went into hisor her own room, and each of them automatically, almost without consciousthought, locked the door. . .3In his pleasant softly tinted room, Mr. Justice Wargrave removed hisgarments and prepared himself for bed.He was thinking about Edward Seton.He remembered Seton very well. His fair hair, his blue eyes, his habit oflooking you straight in the face with a pleasant air ofstraightforwardness. That was what had made so good an impression on thejury.Llewellyn, for the Crown, had bungled it a bit. He had been overvehement,had tried to prove too much.Matthews, on the other hand, for the Defence, had been good. His points hadtold. His cross-examinations had been deadly. His handling of his clientin the witness box had been masterly.And Seton had come through the ordeal of cross-examination well. He had notgot excited or over-vehement. The jury had been impressed. It had seemedto Matthews, perhaps, as though everything had been over bar the shouting.
  • The judge wound up his watch carefully and placed it by the bed.He remembered exactly how he had felt sitting there-listening, makingnotes, appreciating everything, tabulating every scrap of evidence thattold against the prisoner.Hed enjoyed that case! Matthews final speech had been first-class.Llewellyn, coming after it, had failed to remove the good impression thatthe defending counsel had made.And then had come his own summing up. . .Carefully, Mr. Justice Wargrave removed his false teeth andiIIMASTERPIECES OF MURDERdropped them into a glass of water. The shrunken lips fell in. It was acruel mouth now, cruel and predatory.Hooding his eyes, the judge smiled to himself.Hed cooked Setons goose all right!With a slightly rheumatic grunt, he climbed into bed and turned out theelectric light.4Downstairs in the dining-room, Rogers stood puzzled. He was staring at the
  • china figures in the centre of the table. He muttered to himself: "Thats arum go! I could have sworn there were ten of them."5General Macarthur tossed from side to side.Sleep would not come to him.In the darkness he kept seeing Arthur Richmonds face.Hed liked Arthur-hed been damned fond of Arthur. Hed been pleased thatLeslie liked him too.Leslie was so capricious. Lots of good fellows that Leslie would turn upher nose at and pronounce dull. "Dull!" Just like that.But she hadnt found Arthur Richmond dull. Theyd got on well together fromthe beginning. Theyd talked of plays and music and pictures together.Shed teased him, made fun of him, ragged him. And he, Macarthur, had beendelighted at the thought that Leslie took quite a motherly interest in theboy.Motherly indeed! Damn fool not to remember that Richmond was twenty-eightto Leslies twenty-nine.Hed loved Leslie. He could see her now. Her heart-shaped face, and herdancing deep grey eyes, and the brown curling mass of her hair. Hed lovedLeslie and hed believed in her absolutely.Out there in France, in the middle of all the hell of it, hed sat thinkingof her, taken her picture out of the breast pocket of his tunic.And then-hed found out!
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONEIt had come about exactly in the way things happened in books, The letterin the wrong envelope. Shed been writing to them both and shed put herletter to Richmond in the envelope addressed to her husband. Even now, allthese years after, he could feel the shock of it-the pain. . . .God, it had hurt!And the business had been going on some time. The letter made that clear.Week-ends! Richmonds last leave. . . .Leslie-Leslie and Arthur!God damn the fellow! Damn his smiling face, his brisk "Yes, sir." Liar andhypocrite! Stealer of another mans wife!It had gathered slowly-that cold murderous rage.Hed managed to carry on as usual-to show nothing. Hed tried to make hismanner to Richmond just the same.Had he succeeded? He thought so. Richmond hadnt suspected. Inequalitiesof temper were easily accounted for out there, where mens nerves werecontinually snapping under the strain.Only young Armitage had looked at him curiously once or twice. Quite ayoung chap, but hed had perceptions, that boy.Armitage, perhaps, had guessed-when the time came.Hed sent Richmond deliberately to death. Only a miracle could have broughthim through unhurt. That miracle didnt happen. Yes, hed sent Richmond tohis death and he wasnt sorry. It had been easy enough. Mistakes were beingmade all the time, officers being sent to death needlessly. All was
  • confusion, panic. People might say afterwards, "Old Macarthur lost hisnerve a bit, made some colossal blunders, sacrificed some of his best men."They couldnt say more. But young Armitage was different. Hed looked athis commanding officer very oddly. Hed known, perhaps, that Richmond wasbeing deliberately sent to death. (And after the War was over-had Armitagetalked?)Leslie hadnt known. Leslie had wept for her lover (he supposed) but herweeping was over by the time hed come back to England. Hed never told herthat hed found her out. Theyd gone on together -only, somehow, she hadntseemed very real any more. And then, three or four years later, shed gotdouble pneumonia and died.That had been a long time ago. Fifteen years-sixteen years?And hed left the Army and come to live in Devon-bought the sort of littleplace hed always meant to have. Nice neighbourspleasant part of the world.There was a bit of shooting and fishing. Hed gone to church on Sundays.(But not the day that the lessonMASTERPIECES OF MURDERwas read about David putting Uriah in the forefront of the battle. Somehowhe couldnt face that. Gave him an uncomfortable feeling.)Everybody had been very friendly. At first, that is. Later, hed had anuneasy feeling that people were talking about him behind his back. Theyeyed him differently, somehow. As though theyd heard something-some lyingrumour. . . . (Armitage? Supposing Armitage had talked?)Hed avoided people after that-withdrawn into himself. Unpleasant to feel
  • that people were discussing you.And all so long ago. So-so purposeless now. Leslie had faded into thedistance and Arthur Richmond, too. Nothing of what had happened seemed tomatter any more. It made life lonely, though. Hed taken to shunning hisold Army friends. (If Armitage had talked, theyd know about it.)And now-this evening-a hidden voice had blared out that old hidden story.Had he dealt with it all right? Kept a stiff upper lip? Betrayed the rightamount of feeling-indignation, disgust-but no guilt, no discomfiture?Difficult to tell. Surely nobody could have taken the accusation seriously.There had been a pack of other nonsense, just as far-fetched. That charminggirl-the voice had accused her of drowning a child! Idiotic! Some madmanthrowing crazy accusations about! Emily Brent, too-actually a niece of oldTom Brent of the Regiment. It had accused her of murder! Any one could seewith half an eye that the woman was as pious as could be-the kind that washand and glove with parsons.Damned curious business the whole thing! Crazy, nothing less.Ever since they had got here-when was that? Why, damn it, it was only thisafternoon! Seemed a good bit longer than that.He thought: "I wonder when we shall get away again."To-morrow, of course, when the motor boat came from the mainland.Funny, just this minute he didnt want much to get away from the island.. . . To go back to the mainland, back to his little house, back to all thetroubles and worries. Through the open window he could hear the wavesbreaking on the rocks-a little louder now than earlier in the evening. Windwas getting up, too. He thought: Peaceful sound. Peaceful place. . . .
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONE239He thought: Best of an island is once you get there-you cant go anyfurther . . . youve come to the end of things.He knew, suddenly, that he didnt want to leave the island.6Vera Claythorne lay in bed, wide awake, staring up at the ceiling. The lightbeside her was on. She was frightened of the dark.She was thinking:"Hugo . . . Hugo . . . Why do I feel youre so near to me tonight? . . .Somewhere quite close. . . ."Where is he really? I dont know. I never shall know. He just went away-right away-out of my life."It was no good trying not to think of Hugo. He was close to her. She hadto think of him-to remember . . .Cornwall . . .The black rocks, the smooth yellow sand. Mrs. Hamilton, stout, good-humoured. Cyril, whining a little always, pulling at her hand."I want to swim out to the rock, Miss Claythorne. Why cant I swim out tothe rock?"Looking up-meeting Hugos eyes watching her.
  • The evenings after Cyril was in bed . . ."Come out for a stroll, Miss Claythorne.""I think perhaps I will."The decorous stroll down to the beach. The moonlight-the soft Atlantic air.And then, Hugos arms round her."I love you. I love you. You know I love you, Vera?"Yes, she knew.(Or thought she knew.)"I cant ask you to marry me. Ive not got a penny. Its all I can do tokeep myself. Queer, you know, once, for three months I had the chance ofbeing a rich man to look forward to. Cyril wasnt born until three monthsafter Maurice died. If hed been a girl . . ."If the child had been a girl, Hugo would have come into everything. Hedbeen disappointed, he admitted."I hadnt built on it, of course. But it was a bit of a knock. Oh, well,lucks luck! Cyrils a nice kid. Im awfully fond of him." And he240 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERwas fond of him, too. Always ready to play games or amuse his small nephew.No rancour in Hugos nature. ICyril wasnt really strong. A puny child-no stamina. The kind of child,perhaps, who wouldnt live to grow up.And then-?"Miss Claythorne, why cant I swim to the rock?"Irritating whiney repetition.
  • "Its too far, Cyril.""But, Miss Claythorne . . .Vera got up. She went to the dressing-table and swallowed three aspirins.She thought:"I wish I had some proper sleeping stuff."She thought:"If I were doing away with myself Id take an overdose of Veronal -something like that-not Cyanide!"She shuddered as she remembered Anthony Marstons convulsed purple face.As she passed the mantelpiece, she looked up at the framed doggerel.Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;One choked his little self and then there were nine.She thought to herself:"Its horrible-just like us this evening.Why had Anthony Marston wanted to die?She didnt want to die.She couldnt imagine wanting to die.Death was for-the other people. .CHAPTER 6DR. ARMSTRONG was dreaming. . .It was very hot in the operating room. . .
  • Surely theyd got the temperature too high? The sweat was rolling down hisface. His hands were clammy. Difficult to hold the scalpel firmly. . . .How beautifully sharp it was. . . .AND THEN THERE WERE NONE241Easy to do a murder with a knife like that. And of course he was doing amurder. The womans body looked different. It had been a large unwieldybody. This was a spare meagre body. And the face was hidden.Who was it that he had to kill?He couldnt remember. But he must know! Should he ask Sister?Sister was watching him. No, he couldnt ask her. She was suspicious, hecould see that.But who was it on the operating table?They shouldnt have covered up the face like that.If he could only see the face. . . .Ah! that was better. A young probationer was pulling off the handkerchief.Emily Brent, of course. It was Emily Brent that he had to kill. Howmalicious her eyes were! Her lips were moving. What was she saying?"In the midst of life we are in death. 21She was laughing now. No, nurse, dont put the handkerchief back. Ive gotto see. Ive got to give the anaesthetic. Wheres the ether? I must havebrought the ether with me. What have you done with the ether, Sister?ChAteau Neuf du Pape? Yes, that will do quite as well.
  • Take the handkerchief away, nurse.Of course! I knew it all the time! Its Anthony Marston! His face is purpleand convulsed. But hes not dead-hes laughing. I tell you hes laughing!Hes shaking the operating table.Look out, man, look out. Nurse, steady it-steady-it-With a start Dr. Armstrong woke up. It was morning. Sunlight was pouringinto the room.And some one was leaning over him-shaking him. It was Rogers. Rogers, witha white face, saying: "Doctor-doctor!"Dr. Armstrong woke up completely.He sat up in bed. He said sharply:"What is it?""Its the wife, doctor. I cant get her to wake. My God! I cant get herto wake. And-and she dont look right to me."Dr. Armstrong was quick and efficient. He wrapped himself in his dressing-gown and followed Rogers.He bent over the bed where the woman was lying peacefully on her side. Helifted the cold hand, raised the eyelid. It was some few minutes before bestraightened himself and turned from the bed.Rogers whispered:242 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Is-she-is she-VHe passed a tongue over dry lips.Armstrong nodded.
  • "Yes, shes gone."His eyes rested thoughtfully on the man before him. Then they went to thetable by the bed, to the washstand, then back to the sleeping woman.Rogers said:"Was it-was it-er eart, doctor?"Dr. Armstrong was a minute or two before replying. Then he said: "What washer health like normally?"Rogers said:"She was a bit rheumaticky.""Any doctor been attending her recently?""Doctor?" Rogers stared. "Not been to a doctor for years-neither of us.""Youd no reason to believe she suffered from heart trouble?""No, doctor. I never knew of anything."Armstrong said:"Did she sleep well?"Now Rogers eyes evaded his. The mans hands came together and turned andtwisted uneasily. He muttered."She didnt sleep extra well-no."The doctor said sharply:"Did she take things to make her sleep?"Rogers stared at him, surprised."Take things? To make her sleep? Not that I knew of. Im sure she didnt."Armstrong went over to the washstand.There were a certain number of bottles on it. Hair lotion, lavender water,cascara, glycerine of cucumber for the hands, a mouth wash, tooth paste andsome Ellimans.
  • Rogers helped by pulling out the drawers of the dressing-table. From therethey moved on to the chest of drawers. But there was no sign of sleepingdraughts or tablets.Rogers said:"She didnt have nothing last night, sir, except what you gave her. . . ."AND THEN THERE WERE NONE2243When the gong sounded for breakfast at nine oclock it found every one upand awaiting the summons.General Macarthur and the judge had been pacing the terrace outside,exchanging desultory comments on the political situation.Vera Claythome and Philip Lombard had been up to the summit of the islandbehind the house. There they had discovered William Henry Blore, standingstaring at the mainland.He said:"No sign of that motor boat yet. Ive been watching for it."Vera said, smiling:"Devons a sleepy county. Things are usually late."Philip Lombard was looking the other way, out to sea.He said abruptly:
  • "What dyou think of the weather?"Glancing up at the sky, Blore remarked:"Looks all right to me."Lombard pursed up his mouth into a whistle.He said:"It will come on to blow before the days out."Blore said:"Squally-eh?"From below them came the boom of a gong.Philip Lombard said:"Breakfast? Well, I could do with some."As they went down the steep slope Blore said to Lombard in a ruminatingvoice: "You know, it beats me-why that young fellow wanted to do himselfin! Ive been worrying about it all night."Vera was a little ahead. Lombard hung back slightly. He said:"Got any alternative theory?""Id want some proof. Motive, to begin with. Well off I should say he was."Emily Brent came out of the drawing-room door to meet them.She said sharply:"Is the boat coming?""Not yet," said Vera.244 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERThey went in to breakfast. There was a vast dish of eggs and bacon on thesideboard and tea and coffee.Rogers held the door open for them to pass in, then shut it from the
  • outside. Emily Brent said:"That man looks ill this morning."Dr. Armstrong, who was standing by the window, cleared his throat. He said:"You must excuse any-er-shortcomings this morning. Rogers has had to do thebest he can for breakfast single-handed. Mrs. Rogers has-er-not been ableto carry on this morning."Emily Brent said sharply:"Whats the matter with the woman?"Dr. Armstrong said easily:"Let us start our breakfast. The eggs will be cold. Afterwards, there areseveral matters I want to discuss with you all."They took the hint. Plates were filled, coffee and tea was poured. The mealbegan.Discussion of the island was, by mutual consent, tabooed. They spokeinstead in a desultory fashion of current events. The news from abroad,events in the world of sport, the latest reappearance of the Loch Nessmonster.Then, when plates were cleared, Dr. Armstrong moved back his chair alittle, cleared his throat importantly and spoke.He said:"I thought it better to wait until you had had your breakfast beforetelling you of a sad piece of news. Mrs. Rogers died in her sleep."There were startled and shocked ejaculations.Vera exclaimed:"How awful! Two deaths on this island since we arrived!"
  • Mr. Justice Wargrave, his eyes narrowed, said in his small precise clearvoice: "Hm-very remarkable-what was the cause of death?"Armstrong shrugged his shoulders."Impossible to say offhand.""There must be an autopsy?""I certainly couldnt give a certificate. I have no knowledge whatsoeverof the womans state of health."Vera said:"She was a very nervous-looking creature. And she had a shock last night.It might have been heart failure, I suppose?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONEDr. Armstrong said drily:"Her heart certainly failed to beat-but what caused it to fail is thequestion. "One word fell from Emily Brent. It fell hard and clear into the listeninggroup."Conscience!" she said.Armstrong turned to her."What exactly do you mean by that, Miss Brent?"Emily Brent, her lips tight and hard, said:"You all heard. She was accused, together with her husband, ofhaving deliberately murdered her former employer-an old lad"And you think?"
  • Emily Brent said:(iII245.7 .I think that that accusation was true. You all saw her last night. Shebroke down completely and fainted. The shock of having her wickednessbrought home to her was too much for her. She literally died of fear."Dr. Armstrong shook his head doubtfully."It is a possible theory," he said. "One cannot adopt it without more exactknowledge of her state of health. If there was cardiac weakness-"Emily Brent said quietly:"Call it, if you prefer, an Act of God."Every one looked shocked. Mr. Blore said uneasily:"Thats carrying things a bit far, Miss Brent."She looked at them with shining eyes. Her chin went up. She said:"You regard it as impossible that a sinner should be struck downby the wrath of God! I do not!"The judge stroked his chin. He murmured in a slightly ironic voice:
  • "My dear lady, in my experience of ill-doing, Providence leaves the workof conviction and chastisement to us mortals-and the process is oftenfraught with difficulties. There are no short cuts." Emily Brent shrugged her shoulders. Blore said sharply: "What did she have to eat and drink I t i h f bed?" Armstrong said: "Nothing. " "She didnt take anything? A cup of tea? A drink of water? Ill bet you shehad a cup of tea. That sort always does." as n g ., L a Ler she went up to IiI I i I I
  • 246 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Rogers assures me she had nothing whatsoever.""Ah," said Blore. "But he might say so!"His tone was so significant that the doctor looked at him sharply. PhilipLombard said:"So thats your idea?"Blore said aggressively:"Well, why not? We all heard that accusation last night. May be sheermoonshine-just plain lunacy! On the other hand, it may not. Allow for themoment that its true. Rogers and his missus polished off that old lady.Well, where does that get you? Theyve been feeling quite safe and happyabout it-" Vera interrupted. In a low voice she said:"No, I dont think Mrs. Rogers ever felt safe."Blore looked slightly annoyed at the interruption. "Just like a woman," hisglance said.He resumed:"Thats as may be. Anyway theres no active danger to them as far as theyknow. Then, last night, some unknown lunatic spills the beans. Whathappens? The woman cracks-she goes to pieces. Notice how her husband hungover her as she was coming round. Not all husbandly solicitude! Not on yourlife! He was like a cat on hot bricks. Scared out of his life as to whatshe might say."And theres the position for you! Theyve done a murder and got away withit. But if the whole things going to be raked up, whats going to happen?
  • Ten to one, the woman will give the show away. She hasnt got the nerve tostand up and brazen it out. Shes a living danger to her husband, thatswhat she is. Hes all right. Hell lie with a straight face till kingdomcomes-but he cant be sure of her! And if she goes to pieces, his necksin danger! So he slips something into a cup of tea and makes sure that hermouth is shut permanently."Armstrong said slowly:"There was no empty cup by her bedside-there was nothing there at all. Ilooked." Blore snorted."Of course there wouldnt be! First thing hed do when shed drunk it wouldbe to take that cup and saucer away and wash it up carefully."There was a pause. Then General Macarthur said doubtfully:"It may be so. But I should hardly think it possible that a man would dothat-to his wife."Blore gave a short laugh.AND THEN THERE WERE NONEHe said:"When a mans necks in danger, he doesnt stop to think too much aboutsentiment."There was a pause. Before any one could speak, the door opened and Rogerscame in.He said, looking from one to the other:"Is there anything more I can get you? Im sorry there was so little toast,but weve run right out of bread. The new bread hasnt come over from the
  • mainland yet."Mr. Justice Wargrave stirred a little in his chair. He asked:"What time does the motor boat usually come over?""Between seven and eight, Sir. Sometimes its a bit after eight. Dont knowwhat Fred Narracott can be doing this morning. If hes ill hed send hisbrother."Philip Lombard said:"Whats the time now?""Ten minutes to ten, sir."Lombards eyebrows rose. He nodded slowly to himself.Rogers waited a minute or two.General Macarthur spoke suddenly and explosively."Sorry to hear about your wife, Rogers. Doctors just been telling US."Rogers inclined his head."Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."He took up the empty bacon dish and went out.Again there was a silence.3On the terrace outside Philip Lombard said: "About this motor boat-" Blorelooked at him. Blore nodded his head. He said: "I know what youre thinking,Mr. Lombard. Ive asked myself the same question. Motor boat ought to havebeen here nigh on two hours ago. It hasnt come? Why?" "Found the answer?"asked Lombard.
  • I~iI:IIIi~I248 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Its not an accident-tbats what I say. Its part and parcel of the wholebusiness. Its all bound up together."Philip Lombard said:"It wont come, you think?"A voice spoke behind him-a testy impatient voice."The motor boats not coming," he said.Blore turned his square shoulder slightly and viewed the last speakerthoughtfully."You think not too, General?"General Macarthur said sharply:"Of course it wont come. Were counting on the motor boat to take us offthe island. Thats the meaning of the whole business. Were not going toleave the island. . . . None of us will ever leave. . . . Its the end, you
  • see-the end of everything.He hesitated, then he said in a low strange voice:"Thats peace-real peace. To come to the end-not to have to go on. . . .Yes, peace. . . ."He turned abruptly and walked away. Along the terrace, then down the slopetowards the sea-obliquely-to the end of the island where loose rocks wentout into the water.He walked a little unsteadily, like a man who was only half awake. Bloresaid: "There goes another one whos balmy! Looks as though itll end withthe whole lot going that way."Philip Lombard said:"I dont fancy you will, Blore."The ex-Inspector laughed."It would take a lot to send me off my head." He added drily: "And I dontthink youll be going that way either, Mr. Lombard."Philip Lombard said:"I feel quite sane at the minute, thank you."4Dr. Armstrong came out onto the terrace. He stood there hesitating. To hisleft were Blore and Lombard. To his right was Wargrave, slowly pacing up anddown, his head bent down.Armstrong, after a moment of indecision, turned towards the latter.
  • IAND THEN THERE WERE NONE249But at that moment Rogers came quickly out of the house."Could I have a word with you, sir, please?"Armstrong turned.He was startled at what he saw.Rogers face was working. Its colour was greyish green. His hands shook.It was such a contrast to his restraint of a few minutes ago that Armstrongwas quite taken aback." Please, sir, if I could have a word with you. Inside, sir."The doctor turned back and re-entered the house with the frenzied butler.He said:"Whats the matter, man? Pull yourself together.""In here, sir, come in here."He opened the dining-room door. The doctor passed in. Rogers followed himand shut the door behind him."Well," said Armstrong, "what is it?"The muscles of Rogers throat were working. He was swallowing. He jerkedout: "Theres things going on, sir, that I dont understand."Armstrong said sharply: "Things? What things?""Youll think Im crazy, sir. Youll say it isnt anything. But its gotto be explained, sir. Its got to be explained. Because it doesnt make any
  • sense." "Well, man, tell me what it is? Dont go on talking in riddles."Rogers swallowed again.He said:"Its those little figures, sir. In the middle of the table. The littlechina figures. Ten of them, there were. Ill swear to that, ten of them."Armstrong said:"Yes, ten. We counted them last night at dinner."Rogers came nearer."Thats just it, sir. Last night, when I was clearing up, there wasnt butnine, sir. I noticed it and thought it queer. But thats all I thought. Andnow, sir, this morning. I didnt notice when I laid the breakfast. I wasupset and all that."But now, sir, when I came to clear away. See for yourself if you dontbelieve me."Theres only eight, sir! Only eight! It doesnt make sense, does it? Onlyeight. . . ."AND THEN THERE WERE NONECHAPTER 7AftER BREAKFAST, Emily Brent had suggested to Vera Claythome that theyshould walk up to the summit again and watch for the boat. Vera hadacquiesced. The wind had freshened. Small white crests were appearing onthe sea. There were Do fishing boats out-and no sign of the motor boat.The actual village of Sticklehaven could not be seen, only the hill above
  • it, a jutting out cliff of red rock concealed the actual little bay.Emily Brent said:"The man who brought us out yesterday seemed a dependable sort of person.It is really very odd that he should be so late this morning."Vera did not answer. She was fighting down a rising feeling of panic. Shesaid to herself angrily:"You must keep cool. This isnt like you. Youve always had excellentnerves." Aloud she said after a minute or two:"I wish he would come. I-I want to get away."Emily Brent said drily:"Ive no doubt we all do."Vera said:"Its all so extraordinary. all.))The elderly woman beside her said briskly:"Im very annoyed with myself for being so easily taken in. Really thatletter is absurd when one comes to examine it. But I had no doubts at thetime-none at all."Vera murmured mechanically:"I suppose not.""One takes things for granted too much," said Emily Brent.Vera drew a deep shuddering breath.She said:"Do you really think-what you said at breakfast?""Be a little more precise, my dear. To what in particular are youreferring?" Vera said in a low voice:
  • . . There seems no-no meaning in it"Do you really think that Rogers and his wife did away with that old lady?"Emily Brent gazed thoughtfully out to sea. Then she said: "Personally, I amquite sure of it. What do you think?" "I dont know what to think." EmilyBrent said: "Everything goes to support the idea. The way the woman fainted.And the man dropped the coffee tray, remember. Then the way he spoke aboutit-it didnt ring true. Oh, yes, Im afraid they did it." Vera said: "Theway she looked-scared of her own shadow! Ive never seen a woman look sofrightened. by it . . . . 11 Miss Brent murmured:. . She must have been always haunted"I remember a text that hung in my nursery as a child. Be sure thy sinwill find thee out. Its very true, that. Be sure thy sin will find theeout." Vera scrambled to her feet. She said:"But, Miss Brent-Miss Brent-in that case-""Yes, my dear?""The others? What about the others?""I dont quite understand you.""All the other accusations-they-they werent true? But if its true aboutthe Rogerses-" She stopped, unable to make her chaotic thought clear.Emily Brents brow, which had been frowning perplexedly, cleared.She said:"Ali, I understand you now. Well, there is that Mr. Lombard. He admits to
  • having abandoned twenty men to their deaths."Vera said:"They were only natives. . . .Emily Brent said sharply:"Black or white, they are our brothers."Vera thought:"Our black brothers-our black brothers. Oh, Im going to laugh. Imhysterical. Im not myself. . . ."Emily Brent continued thoughtfully:"Of course, some of the other accusations were very far-fetched andridiculous. Against the judge, for instance, who was only doing1~252 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERhis duty in his public capacity. And the ex-Scotland Yard man. My own case,too." She paused and then went on:"Naturally, considering the circumstances, I was not going to say anythinglast night. It was not a fit subject to discuss before gentlemen. ""No?"Vera listened with interest. Miss Brent continued serenely:"Beatrice Taylor was in service with me. Not a nice girl-as I found out toolate. I was very much deceived in her. She had nice manners and was veryclean and willing. I was very pleased with her. Of course all that was thesheerest hypocrisy! She was a loose girl with no morals. Disgusting! It wassome time before I found out that she was what they call in trouble." She
  • paused, her delicate nose wrinkling itself in distaste. "It was a greatshock to me. Her parents were decent folk, too, who had brought her up verystrictly. Im glad to say they did not condone her behaviour."Vera said, staring at Miss Brent:"What happened?""Naturally I did not keep her an hour under my roof. No one shall ever saythat I condoned immorality."Vera said in a lower voice:"What happened-to her?"Miss Brent said:"The abandoned creature, not content with having one sin on her conscience,committed a still graver sin. She took her own life."Vera whispered, horror-struck:"She killed herself?""Yes, she threw herself into the river."Vera shivered.She stared at the calm delicate profile of Miss Brent. She said:"What did you feel like when you knew shed done that? Werent you sorry?Didnt you blame yourself?"Emily Brent drew herself up."I? I had nothing with which to reproach myself."Vera said:"But if your-hardness-drove her toEmily Brent said sharply:"Her own action-her own sin-that was what drove her to it. If she had
  • behaved like a decent modest young woman none of this would have happened."it.1)AND THEN THERE WERE NONE253She turned her face to Vera. There was no self-reproach, no uneasiness inthose eyes. They were hard and self-righteous. Emily Brent sat on the summitof Indian Island, encased in her own armour of virtue. The little elderlyspinster was no longer slightly ridiculous to Vera. Suddenly-she wasterrible.2Dr. Armstrong came out of the dining-room and once more came out on theterrace. The judge was sitting in a chair now, gazing placidly out to sea.Lombard and Blore were over to the left, smoking but not talking. As before,the doctor hesitated for a moment. His eye rested speculatively on Mr.Justice Wargrave. He wanted to consult with some one. He was conscious ofthe judges acute logical brain. But nevertheless he wavered. Mr. JusticeWargrave might have a good brain but he was an elderly man. At thisjuncture, Armstrong felt what was needed was a man of action.He made up his mind."Lombard, can I speak to you for a minute?" Philip started.
  • "Of course."The two men left the terrace. They strolled down the slope towards thewater. When they were out of earshot, Armstrong said:"I want a consultation."Lombards eyebrows went up. He said:"My dear fellow, Ive no medical knowledge." "No, no, I mean as to thegeneral situation.""Oh, thats different."Armstrong said:"Frankly, what do you think of the position?" Lombard reflected a minute.Then he said:"Its rather suggestive, isnt it?""What are your ideas on the subject of that woman? Do you accept Blorestheory?" Philip puffed smoke into the air. He said: "Its perfectlyfeasible-taken alone." "Exactly."254MASTERPIECES OF MURDERArmstrongs tone sounded relieved. Philip Lombard was no fool. Melatterwent on: "That is, accepting the premise that Mr. and Mrs. Rogershave successfully got away with murder in their time. And I dont see whythey shouldnt. What do you think they did exactly? Poisoned the old lady?"Armstrong said slowly:"It might be simpler than that. I asked Rogers this morning what this Miss
  • Brady had suffered from. His answer was enlightening. I dont need to gointo medical details, but in a certain form of cardiac trouble, amylnitrite is used. When an attack comes on an ampoule of amyl nitrite isbroken and it is inhaled. If amyl nitrite were withheldwell, theconsequences might easily be fatal." Philip Lombard said thoughtfully:"As simple as that. It must have been-rather tempting."The doctor nodded."Yes, no positive action. No arsenic to obtain and administernothingdefinite-just-negation! And Rogers hurried through the night to fetch adoctor and they both felt confident that no one could ever know.""And, even if any one knew, nothing could ever be proved against them,"added Philip Lombard.He frowned suddenly."Of course-that explains a good deal."Armstrong said, puzzled:"I beg your pardon."Lombard said:"I mean-it explains Indian Island. There are crimes that cannot be broughthome to their perpetrators. Instance, the Rogerses. Another instance, oldWargrave, who committed his murder strictly within the law."Armstrong said sharply:"You believe that story?"Philip Lombard smiled."Oh, yes, I believe it. Wargrave murdered Edward Seton all right, murderedhim as surely as if hed stuck a stiletto through him! But he was cleverenough to do it from the judges seat in wig and gown. So in the ordinary
  • way you cant bring his little crime home to him."A sudden flash passed like lightning through Armstrongs mind."Murder in Hospital. Murder on the Operating Table. Safe-yes, safe ashouses!"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE4aIPhilip Lombard was saying:"Hence-Mr. Owen-hence-Indian Island!"Armstrong drew a deep breath."Now were getting down to it. Whats the real purpose of getting us allhere?" Philip Lombard said:"What do you think?"Armstrong said abruptly:"Lets go back a minute to this womans death. What are the possibletheories? Rogers killed her because he was afraid she would give the showaway. Second possibility: She lost her nerve and took an easy way outherself." Philip Lombard said:"Suicide, eh?""What do you say to that?"
  • Lombard said:"It could have been-yes-if it hadnt been for Marstons death. Two suicideswithin twelve hours is a little too much to swallow! And if you tell me thatAnthony Marston, a young bull with no nerves and precious little brains, gotthe wind up over having mowed down a couple of kids and deliberately puthimself out of the way-well, the ideas laughable! And anyway, how did heget hold of the stuff? From all Ive ever heard, Potassium Cyanide isntthe kind of stuff you take about with you in your waistcoat pocket. Butthats your line of country." Armstrong said:"Nobody in their senses carries Potassium Cyanide. It might be done by someone who was going to take a wasps nest.""The ardent gardener or landowner, in fact? Again, not Anthony Marston. Itstrikes me that Cyanide is going to need a bit of explaining. Either AnthonyMarston meant to do away with himself before he came here, and thereforecame prepared-or else-"Armstrong prompted him."Or else?"Philip Lombard grinned."Why make me say it? When its on the tip of your own tongue. AnthonyMarston was murdered, of course."MASTERPIECES OP MURDER3Dr. Armstrong drew a deep breath."And Mrs. Rogers?"
  • Lombard said slowly:"I could believe in Anthonys suicide (with difficulty) if it werent forMrs. Rogers. I could believe in Mrs. Rogers suicide (easily) if it werentfor Anthony Marston. I can believe that Rogers put his wife out of the way-if it were not for the unexplained death of Anthony Marston. But what weneed is a theory to explain two deaths following rapidly on each other."Armstrong said:"I can perhaps give you some help towards that theory."And he repeated the facts that Rogers had given hiin about thedisappearance of the two little china figures.Lombard said:"Yes, little china Indian figures. . . . There were certainly ten lastnight at dinner. And now there are eight, you say?"Dr. Armstrong recited:"Ten little Indian boys going out to dine;One went and choked himself and then there were nine."Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;One overslept himself and then there were eight."The two men looked at each other. Philip Lombard grinned and flung away hiscigarette."Fits too damned well to be a coincidence! Anthony Marston dies ofasphyxiation or choking last night after dinner, and Mother Rogers
  • oversleeps herself with a vengeance.""And therefore?" said Armstrong.Lombard took him up."And therefore another kind of puzzle. The Nigger in the Woodpile! X! Mr.Owen! U. N. Owen. One Unknown Lunatic at Large!""Ah!" Armstrong breathed a sigh of relief. "You agree. But you see what itinvolves? Rogers swore that there was no one but ourselves and he and hiswife on the island."AND THEN THERE WERE NONE257"Rogers is wrong! Or possibly Rogers is lying!"Armstrong shook his head."I dont think hes lying. The mans scared. Hes scared nearly out of hissenses."Philip Lombard nodded.He said:"No motor boat this morning. That fits in. Mr. Owens little arrangementsagain to the fore. Indian Island is to be isolated until Mr. Owen hasfinished his job."Armstrong had gone pale. He said:"You realize-the man must be a raving maniac!"Philip Lombard said, and there was a new ring in his voice:"Theres one thing Mr. Owen didnt realize."
  • "Whats that?""This islands more or less a bare rock. We shaH make short work ofsearching it. Well soon ferret out U. N. Owen, Esq."Dr. Armstrong said warningly:"Hell be dangerous."Philip Lombard laughed."Dangerous? Whos afraid of the big bad wolf? Ill be dangerous when I gethold of him!"He paused and said:"Wed better rope in Blore to help us. Hell be a good man in a pinch.Better not tell the women. As for the others, the Generals ga ga, I think,and old Wargraves forte is masterly inactivity. The three of us can attendto this job."CHAPTER 8BLORE WAS easily roped in. He expressed immediate agreement with theirarguments. "What youve said about those china figures, sir, makes all thedifference. Thats crazy, that is! Theres only one thing. You dont thinkthis Owens idea might be to do the job by proxy, as it were?""Explain yourself, man.""Well, I mean like this. After the racket last night this young Mr. Marstongets the wind up and poisons himself. And Rogers, he getsi
  • 258 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER AND THEN THEREWERE NONE 259the wind up too and bumps off his wife! All according to U. N. O.s plan."Armstrong shook his head. He stressed the point about the Cyanide. Bloreagreed. "Yes, Id forgotten that. Not a natural thing to be carrying aboutWith you. But how did it get into his drink, sir?"Lombard said:"Ive been thinking about that. Marston had several drinks that night.Between the time he had his last one and the time he finished the onebefore it, there was quite a gap. During that time his glass was lyingabout on some table or other. I think-though I cant be sure, it was on thelittle table near the window. The window was open. Somebody could haveslipped a dose of the Cyanide into the glass.Blore said unbelievingly:"Without our all seeing him, sir?"Lombard said drily:"We were all-rather concerned elsewhere."Armstrong said slowly:"Thats true. Wed all been attacked. We were walking about, moving aboutthe room. Arguing, indignant, intent on our own business. I think it couldhave been done.Blore shrugged his shoulders."Fact is, it must have been done! Now then, gentlemen, lets make a start.Nobodys got a revolver, by any chance? I suppose thats too much to hopefor." Lombard said:
  • "Ive got one." He patted his pocket.Blores eyes opened very wide. He said in an over-casual tone:"Always carry that about with you, sir?"Lombard said:"Usually. Ive been in some tight places, you know.""Oh," said Blore and added: "Well, youve probably never been in a tighterplace than you are to-day! If theres a lunatic hiding on this island, hesprobably got a young arsenal on him-to say nothing of a knife or dagger ortwo." Armstrong coughed."You may be wrong there, Blore. Many homicidal lunatics are very quiet,unassuming people. Delightful fellows."Blore said:"I dont feel this one is going to be of that kind, Dr. Armstrong."2The three men started on their tour of the island.It proved unexpectedly simple. On the northwest side, towards the coast,the cliffs f ell sheer to the sea below, their surface unbroken.On the rest of the island there were no trees and very little cover. Thethree men worked carefully and methodically, beating up and down from thehighest point to the waters edge, narrowly scanning the least irregularityin the rock which might point to the entrance to a cave. But there were nocaves.They came at last, skirting the waters edge, to where General Macarthur
  • sat looking out to sea. It was very peaceful here with the lap of the wavesbreaking over the rocks. The old man sat very upright, his eyes fixed onthe horizon. He paid no attention to the approach of the searchers. Hisoblivion of them made one at least faintly uncomfortable.Blore thought to himself:"Tisnt natural-looks as though hed gone into a trance or something."He cleared his throat and said in a would-be conversational tone:"Nice peaceful spot youve found for yourself, sir."The General frowned. He cast a quick look over his shoulder. He said:"There is so little time-so little time. I really must insist that no onedisturbs me."Blore said genially:"We wont disturb you. Were just making a tour of the island, so to speak.Just wondered, you know, if some one might be hiding on it."The General frowned and said:"You dont understand-you dont understand at all. Please go away." Bloreretreated. He said, as he joined the other two:"Hes crazy. . . . Its no good talking to him."Lombard asked with some curiosity:"What did he say?"Blore shrugged his shoulders.260 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Something about there being no time and that he didnt want to bedisturbed." Dr. Armstrong frowned. He murmured: "I wonder now.
  • 3The search of the island was practically completed. The three men stood onthe highest point looking over towards the mainland. There were no boatsout. The wind was freshening. Lombard said: "No fishing boats out. Theresa storm coming. Damned nuisance you cant see the village from here. Wecould signal or do something." Blore said: "We might light a bonfire to-night." Lombard said, frowning: "The devil of it is that thats allprobably been provided for." "In what way, sir?" "How do I know? Practicaljoke, perhaps. Were to be marooned here, no attention is to be paid tosignals, etc. Possibly the village has been told theres a wager on. Somedamn fool story anyway." Blore said dubiously: "Think theyd swallow that?"Lombard said drily: "Its easier of belief than the truth! If the villagewere told that the island was to be isolated until Mr. Unknown Owen hadquietly murdered all his guests-do you think theyd believe that?" Dr.Armstrong said: "There are moments when I cant believe it myself. And yet-" Philip Lombard, his lips curling back from his teeth, said: "And yet-thats just it! Youve said it, doctor!" Blore was gazing down into thewater. He said: "Nobody could have clambered down here, I suppose?"Armstrong shook his head. "I doubt it. Its pretty sheer. And where couldhe hide?" Blore said:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE261
  • "There might be a hole in the cliff. If we had a boat now, we could rowround the island."Lombard said:"If we had a boat, wed all be halfway to the mainland by now!""True enough, sir."Lombard said suddenly:"We can make sure of this cliff. Theres only one place where there couldbe a recess-just a little to the right below here. If you fellows can gethold of a rope, you can let me down to make sure."Blore said:"Might as well be sure. Though it seems absurd-on the face of it! Ill seeif I can get hold of something."He started off briskly down to the house.Lombard stared up at the sky. The clouds were beginning to mass themselvestogether. The wind was increasing.He shot a sideways look at Armstrong. He said:"Youre very silent, doctor. What are you thinking?"Armstrong said slowly:"I was wondering exactly how mad old Macarthur was.411Vera had been restless all the morning. She had avoided Emily Brent with
  • a kind of shuddering aversion.Miss Brent herself had taken a chair just round the corner of the house soas to be out of the wind. She sat there knitting.Every time Vera thought of her she seemed to see a pale drowned face withseaweed entangled in the hair. . . . A face that had once been pretty-impudently pretty perhaps-and which was now beyond the reach of pity orterror.And Emily Brent, placid and righteous, sat knitting.On the main terrace, Mr. Justice Wargrave sat huddled in a porters chair.His head was poked down well into his neck.When Vera looked at him, she saw a man standing in the dock-a young manwith fair hair and blue eyes and a bewildered, frightened face. EdwardSeton. And in imagination she saw the judges old hands put the black capon his head and begin to pronounce sentence. . . .After a while Vera strolled slowly down to the sea. She walked262 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERalong towards the extreme end of the island where an old man sat staring outto the horizon.General Macarthur stirred at her approach. His head turned-there was aqueer mixture of questioning and apprehension in his look. It startled her.He stared intently at her for a minute or two.She thought to herself:"How queer. Its almost as though he knewHe said:
  • "Ah! its you! Youve come.Vera sat down beside him. She said:"Do you like sitting here looking out to sea?"He nodded his head gently."Yes," he said. "Its pleasant. Its a good place, I think, to wait." "Towait?" said Vera sharply. "What are you waiting for?"He said gently:"The end. But I think you know that, dont you? Its true, isnt it? Wereall waiting for the end."She said unsteadily:"What do you mean?"General Macarthur said gravely:"None of us are going to leave the island. Thats the plan. You know it,of course, perfectly. What, perhaps, you cant understand is the relief!"Vera said wonderingly:"The relief?"He said:"Yes. Of course, youre very young . . . you havent got to that yet. Butit does come! The blessed relief when you know that youve done with itall-that you havent got to carry the burden any longer. 51. ..Youll feel that too some day.Vera said hoarsely:
  • "I dont understand you."Her fingers worked spasmodically. She felt suddenly afraid of this quietold soldier.He said musingly:"You see, I loved Leslie. I loved her very much.Vera said questioningly:"Was Leslie your wife?""Yes, my wife. . . . I loved her-and I was very proud of her. She was sopretty-and so gay."AND THEN THERE WERE NONEHe was silent for a minute or two, then he said:"Yes, I loved Leslie. Thats why I did it."Vera said:"You mean-" and paused.General Macarthur nodded his head gently."Its not much good denying it now-not when were all going to die. I sentRichmond to his death. I suppose, in a way, it was murder. Curious. Murder-and Ive always been such a law-abiding man! But it didnt seem like thatat the time. I had no regrets. Serves him damned well right!-thats whatI thought. But afterwards-"In a hard voice, Vera said:"Well, afterwards?"
  • He shook his head vaguely. He looked puzzled and a little distressed. "Idont know. I-dont know. It was all different, you see. I dont know ifLeslie ever guessed . . . I dont think so. But you see, I didnt know abouther any more. Shed gone far away where I couldnt reach her. And then shedied-and I was alone.Vera said:"Alone-alone-" and the echo of her voice came back to her from the rocks.General Macarthur said:"Youll be glad, too, when the end comes."Vera got up. She said sharply:"I dont know what you mean!"He said:"I know, my child, I know."You dont. You dont understand at all.General Macarthur looked out to sea again. He seemed unconscious of herpresence behind him.He said very gently and softly:"Leslie . . . T5When Blore returned from the house with a rope coiled over his arm, hefound Armstrong where he had left him staring down into the depths.Blore said breathlessly:i,
  • IiI264 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Wheres Mr. Lombard?"Armstrong said carelessly:"Gone to test some theory or other. Hell be back in a minute. Look here,Blore, Im worried.""I should say we were all worried."The doctor waved an impatient hand."Of course-of course. I dont mean it that way. Im thinking of oldMacarthur.""What about him, Sir?"Dr. Armstrong said grimly:"What were looking for is a madman. What price Macarthur?"Blore said incredulously:"You mean hes homicidal?"Armstrong said doubtfully:"I shouldnt have said so. Not for a minute. But of course Im not aspecialist in mental diseases. I havent really had any conversation withhim-I havent studied him from that point of view."Blore said doubtfully:"Ga ga, yes! But I wouldnt have said-"Armstrong cut in with a slight effort as of a man who pulls himselftogether. "Youre probably right! Damn it all, there must be some one
  • hiding on the island. Ah! here comes Lombard."They fastened the rope carefully.Lombard said:"Ill help myself all I can. Keep a lookout for a sudden strain on therope." After a minute or two, while they stood together watching Lombardsprogress, Blore said:"Climbs like a cat, doesnt he?"There was something odd in his voice.Dr. Armstrong said:"I should think he must have done some mountaineering in his time.""Maybe."There was a silence and the ex-Inspector said:"Funny sort of cove altogether. Dyou know what I think?""What?""Hes a wrong un!"Armstrong said doubtfully:"In what way?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE265Blore grunted. Then he said:"I dont know-exactly. But I wouldnt trust him a yard."Dr. Armstrong said:"I suppose hes led an adventurous life."
  • Blore said:"I bet some of his adventures have had to be kept pretty dark." He pausedand then went on: "Did you happen to bring a revolver along with you,doctor?" Armstrong stared."Me? Good Lord, no. Why should ITBlore said:"Why did Mr. Lombard?"Armstrong said doubtfully:"I suppose-habit."Blore snorted.A sudden pull came on the rope. For some moments they had their hands full.Presently, when the strain relaxed, Blore said:"There are habits and habits! Mr. Lombard takes a revolver to out-of-the-way places, right enough, and a primus and a sleeping-bag and a supply ofbug powder, no doubt! But habit wouldnt make him bring the whole outfitdown here? Its only in books people carry revolvers around as a matter ofcourse."Dr. Armstrong shook his head perplexedly.They leaned over and watched Lombards progress. His search was thoroughand they could see at once that it was futile. Presently he came up overthe edge of the cliff. He wiped the perspiration from his forehead."Well," he said. "Were up against it. Its the house or nowhere."6
  • The house was easily searched. They went through the few outbuildings firstand then turned their attention to the building itself. Mrs. Rogers yardmeasure discovered in the kitchen dresser assisted them. But there were nohidden spaces left unaccounted for. Everything was plain andstraightforward, a modern structure devoid of concealments. They wentthrough the ground floor first. As they mounted to the bedroom floor, theysaw through the landing window Rogers carrying out a tray of cocktails tothe terrace.11 ,11266 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERPhilip Lombard said lightly:"Wonderful animal, the good servant. Carries on with an impassivecountenance." Armstrong said appreciatively:"Rogers is a first-class butler, Ill say that for him!"Blore said:"His wife was a pretty good cook, too. That dinner-last night-" They turnedin to the first bedroom.Five minutes later they faced each other on the landing. No one hiding-nopossible hiding-place.Blore said:"Theres a little stair here."Dr. Armstrong said:
  • "It leads up to the servants room."Blore said:"There must be a place under the roof-for cisterns, water tank, etc. Itsthe best chance-and the only one!"And it was then, as they stood there, that they heard the sound from above.A soft furtive footfall overhead.They all heard it. Armstrong grasped Blores arm. Lombard held up anadmonitory finger."Quiet-listen."It came again-some one moving softly, furtively, overhead.Armstrong whispered:"Hes actually in the bedroom itself. The room where Mrs. Rogers body is."Blore whispered back:"Of course! Best hiding-place he could have chosen! Nobody likely to gothere. Now then-quiet as you can."They crept stealthily upstairs.On the little landing outside the door of the bedroom they paused again.Yes, some one was in the room. There was a faint creak from within.Blore whispered:"Now."He flung open the door and rushed in, the other two close behind him. Thenall three stopped dead.Rogers was in the room, his hands full of garments.AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • 7267Blore recovered himself first. He said:"Sorry-er-Rogers. Heard some one moving about in here, and thought-well-"He stopped.Rogers said:"Im sorry, gentlemen. I was just moving my things. I take it there willbe no objection if I take one of the vacant guest chambers on the floorbelow? The smallest room."It was to Armstrong that he spoke, and Armstrong replied:"Of course. Of course. Get on with it."He avoided looking at the sheeted figure lying on the bed.Rogers said:"Thank you, sir."He went out of the room with his arm full of belongings and went down thestairs to the floor below.Armstrong moved over to the bed and, lifting the sheet, looked down on thepeaceful face of the dead woman. There was no fear there now. Justemptiness. Armstrong said:"Wish Id got my stuff here. Id like to know what drug it was.Then he turned to the other two."Lets get finished. I feel it in my bones were not going to findanything." Blore was wrestling with the bolts of a low manhole.
  • He said:"That chap moves damned quietly. A minute or two ago we saw him in thegarden. None of us heard him come upstairs."Lombard said:"I suppose thats why we assumed it must be a stranger moving about uphere." Blore disappeared into a cavernous darkness. Lombard pulled a torchfrom his pocket and followed.Five minutes later three men stood on an upper landing and looked at eachother. They were dirty and festooned with cobwebs and their faces weregrim. There was no one on the island but their eight selves.IIAND THEN THERE WERE NONECHAPTER 9LOMBARD SAM Slowly: . "So weve been wrong-wrong all along! Built up anightmare of superstition and fantasy all because of the coincidence of twodeaths!"Armstrong said gravely:"And yet, you know, the argument holds. Hang it all, Im a doctor, I knowsomething about suicides. Anthony Marston wasnt a suicidal type." Lombardsaid doubtfully:"It couldnt, I suppose, have been an accident?"
  • Blore snorted, unconvinced."Damned queer sort of accident," he grunted.There was a pause, then Blore said:"About the woman-" and stopped."Mrs. Rogers?""Yes. Its possible, isnt it, that that might have been an accident?"Philip Lombard said:"An accident? In what way?"Blore looked slightly embarrassed. His red-brick face grew a little deeperin hue. He said, almost blurting out the words:"Look here, doctor, you did give her some dope, you know."Armstrong stared at him."Dope? What do you mean?""Last night. You said yourself youd give her something to make her sleep.""Oh, that, yes. A harmless sedative.""What was it exactly?""I gave her a mild dose of trional. A perfectly harmless preparation."Blore grew redder still. He said:"Look here-not to mince matters-you didnt give her an overdose, did you?"Dr. Armstrong said angrily:"I dont know what you mean."Blore said:Ii
  • I.i"Its possible, isnt it, that you may have made a mistake? These thingsdo happen once in a while."Armstrong said sharply:"I did nothing of the sort. The suggestion is ridiculous." He stopped andadded in a cold biting tone: "Or do you suggest that I gave her an overdoseon purpose?"Philip Lombard said quickly:"Look here, you two, got to keep our heads. Dont lets start slingingaccusations about."Blore said sullenly:"I only suggested the doctor had made a mistake."Dr. Armstrong smiled with an effort. He said, showing his teeth in asomewhat nidrthless smile:"Doctors cant afford to make mistakes of that kind, my friend."Blore said deliberately:"It wouldnt be the first youve made-if that gramophone record is to bebelieved!"Armstrong went white. Philip Lombard said quickly and angrily to Blore:"Whats the sense of making yourself offensive? Were all in the same boat.Weve got to pull together. What about your own pretty little spot ofperjury?" Blore took a step forward, his hands clenched. He said in a thickvoice: "Perjury be damned! Thats a foul lie! You may try and shut me up,
  • Mr. Lombard, but theres things I want to know-and one of them is aboutyou!"Lombards eyebrows rose."About me?""Yes. I want to know why you brought a revolver down here on a pleasantsocial visit?"Lombard said:"You do, do you?""Yes, I do, Mr. Lombard."Lombard said unexpectedly:"You know, Blore, youre not nearly such a fool as you look.""Thats as may be. What about that revolver?"Lombard smiled."I brought it because I expected to run into a spot of trouble."Blore said suspiciously:"You didnt tell us that last night."I,iri270 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER AND THEN THEREWERE NONE 271
  • Lombard shook his head."You were holding out on us?" Blore persisted."In a way, yes," said Lombard."Well, come on, out with it."Lombard said slowly:"I allowed you all to think that I was asked here in the same way as mostof the others. Thats not quite true. As a matter of fact I was approachedby a little Jewboy-Morris his name was. He offered me a hundred guineas tocome down here and keep my eyes open-said Id got a reputation for beinga good man in a tight place.""Well?" Blore prompted impatiently.Lombard said with a grin:"Thats all.)Dr. Armstrong said:"But surely he told you more than that?""Oh, no, he didnt. Just shut up like a clam. I could take it or leave it-those were his words. I was hard up. I took it."Blore looked unconvinced. He said:"Why didnt you tell us all this last night?""My dear man-" Lombard shrugged eloquent shoulders. "How was I to know thatlast night wasnt exactly the eventuality I was here to cope with? I laylow and told a noncommittal story."Dr. Armstrong said shrewdly:"But now-you think differently?"
  • Lombards face changed. It darkened and hardened. He said:"Yes. I believe now that Im in the same boat as the rest of you. Thathundred guineas was just Mr. Owens little bit of cheese to get me into thetrap along with the rest of you."He said slowly:"For we are in a trap-Ill take my oath on that! Mrs. Rogers death! TonyMarstons! The disappearing Indian boys on the dinnertable! Oh, yes, Mr.Owens hand is plainly to be seen-but where the devil is Mr. Owen himself?"Downstairs the gong pealed a solemn call to lunch.2Rogers was standing by the dining-room door. As the three men descended thestairs he moved a step or two forward. He said in a low anxious voice:"I hope lunch will be satisfactory. There is cold ham and cold tongue, andIve boiled some potatoes. And theres cheese and biscuits and some tinnedfruits." Lombard said:"Sounds all right. Stores are holding out, then?""There is plenty of food, sir-of a tinned variety. The larder is very wellstocked. A necessity, that, I should say, Sir, on an island where one maybe cut off from the mainland for a considerable period."Lombard nodded.Rogers murmured as he followed the three men into the diningroom:"It worries me that Fred Narracott hasnt been over to-day. Its peculiarlyunfortunate, as you might say."
  • "Yes," said Lombard, "peculiarly unfortunate describes it very well."Miss Brent came into the room. She had just dropped a ball of wool and wascarefully rewinding the end of it.As she took her seat at table she remarked:"The weather is changing. The wind is quite strong and there are whitehorses on the sea."Mr. Justice Wargrave came in. He walked with a slow measured tread. Hedarted quick looks from under his bushy eyebrows at the other occupants ofthe dining-room. He said:"You have had an active morning."There was a faint malicious pleasure in his voice.Vera Claythorne hurried in. She was a little out of breath.She said quickly:"I hope you didnt wait for me. Am I late?"Emily Brent said:"Youre not the last. The General isnt here yet."They sat round the table.Rogers addressed Miss Brent:"Will you begin, Madam, or will you wait?"Vera said:"General Macarthur is sitting right down by the sea. I dont expect hewould hear the gong there and anyway"-she hesitated-"hes a little vagueto-day, I think." Rogers said quickly:"I will go down and inform him luncheon is ready."Dr. Armstrong jumped up.
  • "Ill go," he said. "You others start lunch."272 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERHe left the room. Behind him he heard Rogersvoice. "Will you take coldtongue or cold ham, Madam?"3The five people sitting round the table seemed to find conversationdifficult. Outside sudden gusts of wind came up and died away.Vera shivered a little and said:"There is a storm coming."Blore made a contribution to the discourse. He said conversationally:"There was an old fellow in the train from Plymouth yesterday. He kept sayinga storm was coming. Wonderful how they know weather, these old salts."Rogers went round the table collecting the meat plates.Suddenly, with the plates held in his hands, he stopped.He said in an odd scared voice:"Theres somebody running. . . ."They could all hear it-running feet along the terrace.In that minute, they knew-knew without being told. . . .As by common accord, they all rose to their feet. They stood lookingtowards the door.Dr. Armstrong appeared, his breath coming fast.He said:"General Macarthur-"
  • "Dead!" The word burst from Vera explosively.Armstrong said:"Yes, hes dead.There was a pause-a long pause.Seven people looked at each other and could find no words to say.4The storm broke just as the old mans body was borne in through the door.The others were standing in the hall.There was a sudden hiss and roar as the rain came down.As Blore and Armstrong passed up the stairs with their burden,AND THEN THERE WERE NONEVera Claythorne turned suddenly and went into the deserted diningroom. Itwas as they had left it. The sweet course stood ready on the sideboarduntasted.Vera went up to the table. She was there a minute or two later when Rogerscame softly into the room.He started when he saw her. Then his eyes asked a question.He said:"Oh, Miss, 1-1 just came to see .In a loud harsh voice that surprised herself Vera said:"Youre quite right, Rogers. Look for yourself. There are only seven . .
  • . . P)5General Macarthur had been laid on his bed.After making a last examination Armstrong left the room and camedownstairs. He found the others assembled in the drawingroom.Miss Brent was knitting. Vera Claythorne was standing by the window lookingout at the hissing rain. Blore was sitting squarely in a chair, his handson his knees. Lombard was walking restlessly up and down. At the far endof the room Mr. Justice Wargrave was sitting in a grandfather chair. Hiseyes were half closed. They opened as the doctor came into the room. Hesaid in a clear penetrating voice:"Well, doctor?"Armstrong was very pale. He said:"No question of heart failure or anything like that. Macarthur was hit witha life preserver or some such thing on the back of the head."A little murmur went round, but the clear voice of the judge was raisedonce more."Did you find the actual weapon used?"No."Nevertheless you are sure of your facts?""I am quite sure."Mr. Justice Wargrave said quietly:"We know now exactly where we are."There was no doubt now who was in charge of the situation. This morning
  • Wargrave had sat huddled in his chair on the terrace refrain- 276 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Unfortunately," he said, "we are all in that position. There is only ourown word to go upon."He leant forward."You have none of you yet grasped what a very peculiar situation this is.To my mind there is only one course of procedure to adopt. Is there any onewhom we can definitely eliminate from suspicion on the evidence which isin our possession?" Dr. Armstrong said quickly:"I am a well-known professional man. The mere idea that I can be suspectedof-" Again a gesture of the judges hand arrested a speaker before hefinished his speech. Mr. Justice Wargrave said in his small clear voice:"I, too, am a well-known person! But, my dear Sir, that proves less thannothing! Doctors have gone mad before now. Judges have gone mad. So," headded, looking at Blore, "have policemen!"Lombard said:"At any rate, I suppose youll leave the women out of it."The judges eyebrows rose. He said in the famous "acid" tone that Counselknew so well:"Do I understand you to assert that women are not subject to homicidalmania?" Lombard said irritably:"Of course not. But all the same, it hardly seems possible-"He stopped. Mr. Justice Wargrave still in the same thin sour voiceaddressed Armstrong.
  • "I take it, Dr. Armstrong, that a woman would have been physically capableof striking the blow that killed poor Macarthur?"The doctor said calmly:"Perfectly capable-given a suitable instrument, such as a rubber truncheonor cosh.""It would require no undue exertion of force?""Not at all."Mr. Justice Wargrave wriggled his tortoise-like neck. He said:"The other two deaths have resulted from the administration of drugs. That,no one will dispute, is easily compassed by a person of the smallestphysical strength."Vera cried angrily:"I think youre mad!"His eyes turned slowly till they rested on her. It was the dispassionatestare of a man well used to weighing humanity in the balance. She thought:AND THEN THERE WERE NONEf t;-1IIi
  • iIII"Hes just seeing me as a-as a specimen. And"-the thought came to her withreal surprise-"he doesnt like me much!In measured tones the judge was saying:"My dear young lady, do try and restrain your feelings. I am not accusingyou." He bowed to Miss Brent. "I hope, Miss Brent, that you are notoffended by my insistence that all of us are equally under suspicion?"Emily Brent was knitting. She did not look up. In a cold voice she said:"The idea that I should be accused of taking a fellow creatures life-notto speak of the lives of three fellow creatures-is, of course, quite absurdto any one who knows anything of my character. But I quite appreciate thefact that we are all strangers to one another and that in thosecircumstances, nobody can be exonerated without the fullest proof. Thereis, as I have said, a devil amongst us."The judge said:"Then we are agreed. There can be no elimination on the ground of characteror position alone."Lombard said:"What about Rogers?"
  • The judge looked at him unblinkingly."What about him?"Lombard said:"Well, to my mind, Rogers seems pretty well ruled out."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"Indeed, and on what grounds?"Lombard said:"He hasnt got the brains for one thing. And for another his wife was oneof the victims."The judges heavy eyebrows rose once more. He said:"In my time, young man, several people have come before me accused of themurders of their wives-and have been found guilty.""Oh! I agree. Wife murder is perfectly possible-almost natural, lets say!But not this particular kind! I can believe in Rogers killing his wifebecause he was scared of her breaking down and giving him away, or becausehed taken a dislike to her, or because he wanted to link up with some nicelittle bit rather less long in the tooth. But I cant see him as thelunatic Mr. Owen dealing out crazy justice and starting on his own wife fora crime they both committed." Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"You are assuming heresay to be evidence. We do not know that Rogers andhis wife conspired to murder their employer. That may278 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERhave been a false statement, made so that Rogers should appear to be in thesame position as ourselves. Mrs. Rogers terror last night may have been due
  • to the fact that she realized her husband was mentally unhinged."Lombard said:"Well, have it your own way. U. N. Owen is one of us. No eiceptionsallowed. We all qualify."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"My point is that there can be no exceptions allowed on the score ofcharacter, position, or probability. What we must now examine is thepossibility of eliminating one or more persons on the facts. To put itsimply, is there among us one or more persons who could not possibly haveadministered either Cyanide to Anthony Marston, or an overdose of sleepingdraught to Mrs. Rogers, and who had no opportunity of striking the blowthat killed General Macarthur?" Blores rather heavy face lit up. He leantforward."Now youre talking, Sir!" he said. "Thats the stuff! Lets go into it.As regards young Marston I dont think theres anything to be done. Itsalready been suggested that some one from outside slipped something intothe dregs of his glass before he refilled it for the last time. A personactually in the room could have done that even more easily. I cantremember if Rogers was in the room, but any of the rest of us couldcertainly have done it."He paused, then went on."Now take the woman Rogers. The people who stand out there are her husbandand the doctor. Either of them could have done it as easy as winking-"Armstrong sprang to his feet. He was trembling."I protest- This is absolutely uncalled for! I swear that the dose I gavethe woman was perfectly-"
  • "Dr. Armstrong."The small sour voice was compelling. The doctor stopped with a jerk in themiddle of his sentence. The small cold voice went on."Your indignation is very natural. Nevertheless you must admit that thefacts have got to be faced. Either you or Rogers could have administereda fatal dose with the greatest ease. Let us now consider the position ofthe other people present. What chance had 1, had Inspector Blore, had MissBrent, had Miss Claythorne, had Mr. Lombard of administering poison? Canany one of us be completely and entirely eliminated?" He paused. "I thinknot."Vera said angrily:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"I was nowhere near the woman! All of you can swear to that."Mr. Justice Wargrave waited a minute, then he said:"As far as my memory serves me the facts were these-will any one pleasecorrect me if I make a misstatement? Mrs. Rogers was lifted onto the sofaby Anthony Marston and Mr. Lombard and Dr. Armstrong went to her. He sentRogers for brandy. There was then a question raised as to where the voicewe had just heard had come from. We all went into the next room with theexception of Miss Brent who remained in this room-alone with theunconscious woman."A spot of colour came into Emily Brents cheeks. She stopped knitting. Shesaid: "This is outrageous!"
  • The remorseless small voice went on."When we returned to this room, you, Miss Brent, were bending over thewoman on the sofa."Emily Brent said:"Is common humanity a criminal offence?"Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"I am only establishing facts. Rogers then entered the room with the brandywhich, of course, he could quite well have doctored before entering theroom. The brandy was administered to the woman and shortly afterwards herhusband and Dr. Armstrong assisted her up to bed where Dr. Armstrong gaveher a sedative." Blore said:"Thats what happened. Absolutely. And that lets out the judge, Mr.Lombard, myself and Miss Claythorne."His voice was loud and jubilant. Mr. Justice Wargrave, bringing a cold eyeto bear upon him, murmured:"Ah, but does it? We must take into account every possible eventuality."Blore stared. He said:"I dont get you."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"Upstairs in her room, Mrs. Rogers is lying in bed. The sedative that thedoctor has given her begins to take effect. She is vaguely sleepy andacquiescent. Supposing that at that moment there is a tap on the door andsome one enters bringing her, shall we say, a tablet, or a draught, withthe message that the doctor says youre to take this. Do you imagine forone minute that she would not have swallowed it obediently without thinkingtwice about it?"
  • 280 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERThere was a silence. Blore shifted his feet and frowned. Philip Lombardsaid: "I dont believe in that story for a minute. Besides none of us leftthis room for hours afterwards. There was Marstons death and all the restof it." The judge said:"Some one could have left his or her bedroom-later."Lombard objected:"But then Rogers would have been up there."Dr. Armstrong stirred."No," he said. "Rogers went downstairs to clear up in the diningroom andpantry. Any one could have gone up to the womans bedroom then withoutbeing seen." Emily Brent said:"Surely, doctor, the woman would have been fast asleep by then under theinfluence of the drug you had administered?""In all likelihood, yes. But it is not a certainty. Until you have pre-scribed for a patient more than once you cannot tell their reaction todifferent drugs. There is, sometimes, a considerable period before asedative takes effect. It depends on the personal idiosyncrasy of thepatient towards that particular drug."Lombard said:"Of course you would say that, doctor. Suits your book-eh?"Again Armstrongs face darkened with anger.But again that passionless cold little voice stopped the words on his lips.
  • "No good result can come from recrimination. Facts are what we have to dealwith. It is established, I think, that there is a possibility of such athing as I have outlined occurring. I agree that its probability value isnot high; though there again, it depends on who that person might havebeen. The appearance of Miss Brent or of Miss Claythorne on such an errandwould have occasioned no surprise in the patients mind. I agree that theappearance of myself, or of Mr. Blore, or of Mr. Lombard could have been,to say the least of it, unusual, but I still think the visit would havebeen received without the awakening of any real suspicion."Blore said:"And that gets us-where?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE7Mr. Justice Wargrave, stroking his Up and looking quite passionless andinhuman, said:"We have now dealt with the second killing, and have established the factthat no one of us can be completely exonerated from suspicion."He paused and went on."We come now to the death of General Macarthur. That took place thismorning. I will ask any one who considers that he or she has an alibi tostate it in so many words. I myself will state at once that I have no validalibi. I spent the morning sitting on the terrace and meditating on thesingular position in which we all find ourselves.
  • "I sat on that chair on the terrace for the whole morning until the gongwent, but there were, I should imagine, several periods during the morningwhen I was quite unobserved and during which it would have been possiblefor me to walk down to the sea, kill the General, and return to my chair.There is only my word for the fact that I never left the terrace. In thecircumstances that is not enough. There must be proof."Blore said:"I was with Mr. Lombard and Dr. Armstrong all the morning. Theyll bear meout." Dr. Armstrong said:"You went to the house for a rope."Blore said:"Of course, I did. Went straight there and straight back. You know I did."Armstrong said:"You were a long time.Blore turned crimson.He said:"What the hell do you mean by that, Dr. Armstrong?"Armstrong repeated:"I only said you were a long time.""Had to find it, didnt I? Cant lay your hands on a coil of rope all ina minute."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:282 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"During Inspector Blores absence, were you two gentlemen together?"
  • Armstrong said hotly:"Certainly. That is, Lombard went off for a few minutes. I remained whereI was."Lombard said with a smile:"I wanted to test the possibilities of heliographing to the mainland.Wanted to find the best spot. I was only absent a minute or two."Armstrong nodded. He said:"Thats right. Not long enough to do a murder, I assure you."The judge said:"Did either of you two glance at your watches?""Well, no."Philip Lombard said:"I wasnt wearing one."The judge said evenly:"A minute or two is a vague expression."He turned his head to the upright figure with the knitting lying on herlap. "Miss Brent?"Emily Brent said:"I took a walk with Miss Claythorne up to the top of the island. AfterwardsI sat on the terrace in the sun."The judge said:"I dont think I noticed you there.""No, I was round the corner of the house to the east. It was out of thewind there.""And you sat there till lunch time?""Yes."
  • "Miss Claythorne?" Vera answered readily and clearly. "I was with Miss Brent early this morning. After that I wandered about abit. Then I went down and talked to General Macarthur." Mr. Justice Wargrave interrupted. He said: "What time was that?" Vera for the first time was vague. She said: "I dont know. About an hour before lunch, I think-or it might have been less." Blore asked: "Was it after wed spoken to him or before?" Vera said: AND THEN THERE WERE NONEi.1 I "I dont know. He-he was very queer." She shivered. "In what way was he queer?" the judge wanted to know. Vera said in a low voice: "He said we were all going to die-he said he was waiting for the end. He-he frightened me. . . ."
  • The judge nodded. He said:"What did you do next?""I went back to the house. Then, just before lunch, I went out again andup behind the house. Ive been terribly restless all day."Mr. Justice Wargrave stroked his chin. He said:"There remains Rogers. Though I doubt if his evidence will add anything toour sum of knowledge."Rogers, summoned before the court, had very little to tell. He bad beenbusy all the morning about household duties and with the preparation oflunch. He had taken cocktails onto the terrace before lunch and had thengone up to remove his things from the attic to another room. He had notlooked out of the window during the morning and had seen nothing that couldhave any bearing upon the death of General Macarthur. He would sweardefinitely that there had been eight china figures upon the dining-tablewhen he laid the table for lunch.At the conclusion of Rogers evidence there was a pause.Mr. Justice Wararave cleared his throat.Lombard murmured to Vera Claythorne;"The summing up will now take place!"The judge said:"We have inquired into the circumstances of these three deaths to the bestof our ability. Whilst probability in some cases is against certain peoplebeing implicated, yet we cannot say definitely that any one person can beconsidered as cleared of all complicity. I reiterate my positive beliefthat of the seven persons assembled in this room one is a dangerous andprobably insane criminal. There is no evidence before us as to who that
  • person is. All we can do at the present juncture is to consider whatmeasures we can take for communicating with the mainland for help, and inthe event of help being delayed (as is only too possible given the stateof the weather) what measures we must adopt to ensure our safety."I would ask you all to consider this carefully and to give me anysuggestions that may occur to you. In the meantime I warn everybody to beupon his or her guard. So far the murderer has had anIi284 MASTERPIECES OF MURDEReasy task, since his victims have been unsuspicious. From now on, it is ourtask to suspect each and every one amongst us. Forewarned is forearmed. Takeno risks and be alert to danger. That is all." rPhilip Lombard murmured beneath his breath:"The court will now adjourn. .CHAPTER 10"Do YOU BELIEVE it?" Vera asked.She and Philip Lombard sat on the window-sill of the living-room. Outsidethe rain poured down and the wind howled in great shuddering gusts against
  • the window-panes.Philip Lombard cocked his head slightly on one side before answering. Thenhe said:C(You mean, do I believe that old Wargrave is right when he says its oneof us?" "Yes."Philip Lombard said slowly:"Its difficult to say. Logically, you know, hes right, and yet-"Vera took the words out of his mouth."And yet it seems so incredible!"Philip Lombard made a grimace."The whole things incredible! But after Macarthurs death theres no moredoubt as to one thing. Theres no question now of accidents or suicides.Its definitely murder. Three murders up to date."Vera shivered. She said:"Its like some awful dream. I keep feeling that things like this canthappen!" He said with understanding:"I know. Presently a tap will come on the door, and early morning tea willbe brought in."Vera said:"Oh, how I wish that could happen!"Philip Lombard said gravely:"Yes, but it wont! Were all in the dream! And weve got to be pretty muchupon our guard from now on."Vera said, lowering her voice:"If-if it is one of them-which do you think it is?"
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONEPhilip Lombard grinned suddenly. He said:"I take it you are excepting our two selves? Well, thats all right. I knowvery well that Im not the murderer, and I dont fancy that theresanything insane about you, Vera. You strike me as being one of the sanestand most level-headed girls Ive come across. Id stake my reputation onyour sanity."With a slightly wry smile, Vera said:"Thank you."He said:"Come now, Miss Vera Claythome, arent you going to return the compliment?"Vera hesitated a minute, then she said:"Youve admitted, you know, that you dont hold human life par-t~ularly sacred, but all the same I cant see you as-as the man whodictated that gramophone record."Lombard said:"Quite right. If I were to commit one or more murders it would be solelyfor what I could get out of them. This mass clearance isnt my line ofcountry. Good, then well eliminate ourselves and concentrate on our fivefellow prisoners. Which of them is U. N. Owen? Well, at a guess, and withabsolutely nothing to go upon, Id plump for Wargrave!""Oh!" Vera sounded surprised. She thought a minute or two and then said,"Why?" "Hard to say exactly. But to begin with, hes an old man and hesbeen presiding over courts of law for years. That is to say, hes played
  • God Almighty for a good many months every year. That must go to a manshead eventually. He gets to see himself as all powerful, as holding thepower of life and death-and its possible that his brain might snap and hemight want to go one step farther and be Execu- tioner and JudgeExtraordinary."Vera said slowly:"Yes, I suppose thats possible.Lombard said:"Who do you plump for?"Without any hesitation Vera answered:"Dr. Armstrong."Lombard gave a low whistle."The doctor, ch? You know, I should have put him last of all."Vera shook her head."Oh, no! Two of the deaths have been poison. That rather points286 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERto a doctor. And then you cant get over the fact that the only thing we areabsolutely certain Mrs. Rogers had was the sleeping draught that he gaveher." Lombard admitted:"Yes, thats true."Vera persisted:"If a doctor went mad, it would be a long time before any one suspected.And doctors overwork and have a lot of strain."Philip Lombard said:"Yes, but I doubt if he could have killed Macarthur. He wouldnt have had
  • time during that brief interval when I left him-not, that is, unless hefairly hared down there and back again, and I doubt if hes in good enoughtraining to do that and show no signs of it."Vera said:"He didnt do it then. He had an opportunity later.""When?""When he went down to call the General to lunch."Philip whistled again very softly. He said:"So you think he did it then? Pretty cool thing to do."Vera said impatiently:"What risk was there? Hes the only person here with medical knowledge. Hecan swear the bodys been dead at least an hour and whos to contradicthim?" Philip looked at her thoughtfully."You know," he said, "thats a clever idea of yours. I wonder-"2"Who is it, Mr. Blore? Thats what I want to know. Who is it?"Rogers face was working. His hands were clenched round the polishingleather that he held in his hand.Ex-Inspector Blore said:"Eh, my ]ad, thats the question!""One of us, is lordship said. Which one? Thats what I want to know. Whosthe fiend inuman form?""That," said Blore, "is what we all would like to know."
  • Rogers said shrewdly:"But youve got an idea, Mr. Blore. Youve got an idea, aventyou?"C47 _" A 19.1 AT3 IAND THEN THERE WERE NONEfrom being sure. I may be wrong. All I can say is that if Im right theperson in question is a very cool customer-a very cool customer indeed."Rogers wiped the perspiration from his forehead. He said hoarsely: "Itslike a bad dream, thats what it is."Blore said, looking at him curiously:"Got any ideas yourself, Rogers?"The butler shook his head. He said hoarsely:"I dont know. I dont know at all. And thats whats frightening the lifeout of me. To have no idea.3Dr. Armstrong said violently:"We must get out of here-we must-we must! At all costs!"Mr. Justice Wargrave looked thoughtfully out of the smoking room window.He played with the cord of his eyeglasses. He said:"I do not, of course, profess to be a weather prophet. But I should saythat it is very unlikely that a boat could reach us-even if they knew ofour plight-under twenty-four hours-and even then only if the wind drops."
  • Dr. Armstrong dropped his head in his hands and groaned.He said:"And in the meantime we may all be murdered in our beds?""I hope not," said Mr. Justice Wargrave. "I intend to take every possibleprecaution against such a thing happening."It flashed across Dr. Armstrongs mind that an old man like the judge, wasfar more tenacious of life than a younger man would be. He had oftenmarvelled at that fact in his professional career. Here was he, junior tothe judge by perhaps twenty years, and yet with a vastly inferior sense ofself-preservation. Mr. Justice Wargrave was thinking:"Murdered in our beds! These doctors are all the same-they think incliches. A thoroughly commonplace mind."The doctor said:"There have been three victims already, remember."Certainly. But you must remember that they were unprepared for the attack.We are forewarned."Dr. Arrnstron~4 said bitterly:288 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"What can we do? Sooner or later-""I think," said Mr. Justice Wargrave, "that there are several things we cando."Armstrong said:"Weve no idea, even, who it can be-"The judge stroked his chin and murmured:
  • "Oh, you know, I wouldnt quite say that."Armstrong stared at him."Do you mean you know?"Mr. Justice Wargrave said cautiously:"As regards actual evidence, such as is necessary in court, I admit thatI have none. But it appears to me, reviewing the whole business, that oneparticular person is sufficiently clearly indicated. Yes, I think so.Armstrong stared at him.He said:"I dont understand."4Miss Brent was upstairs in her bedroom.She took up her Bible and went to sit by the window.She opened it. Then, after a minutes hesitation, she set it aside and wentover to the dressing-table. From a drawer in it she took out a small black-covered notebook.She opened it and began writing."A terrible thing has happened. General Macarthur is dead. (His cousinmarried Elsie MacPherson.) There is no doubt but that he was murdered.After luncheon the judge made us a most interesting speech. He is convincedthat the murderer is one of us. That means that one of us is possessed bya devil. I had already suspected that. Which of us is it? They are allasking themselves that. I alone know. . . .She sat for some time without moving. Her eyes grew vague and filmy. The
  • pencil straggled drunkenly in her fingers. In shaking loose capitals shewrote: THE MURDERERS NAME is BEATRICE TAYLOR. . . .Her eyes closed.Suddenly, with a start, she awoke. She looked down at the note-AND THEN THERE WERE NONEffbook. With an angry exclamation she scored through the vague unevenlyscrawled characters of the last sentence. She said in a low voice: "Did Iwrite that? Did I? I must be going mad.5The storm increased. The wind howled against the side of the house. Everyone was in the living-room. They sat listlessly huddled together. And,surreptitiously, they watched each other.When Rocyers brought in the tea-tray, they all jumped.He said:"Shall I draw the curtains? It would make it more cheerful like."Receiving an assent to this, the curtains were drawn and the lamps turnedon. The room grew more cheerful. A little of the shadow lifted. Surely, byto-morrow, the storm would be over and some one would come-a boat wouldarrive.Vera Claythome said:
  • "Will you pour out tea, Miss Brent?"The elder woman replied:"No, you do it, dear. That tea-pot is so heavy. And I have lost two skeinsof my grey knitting-wool. So annoying."Vera moved to the tea-table. There was a cheerful rattle and clink ofchina. Normality returned.Tea! Blessed ordinary everyday afternoon tea! Philip Lombard made a cheeryremark. Blore responded. Dr. Armstrong told a humorous story. Mr. JusticeWargrave, who ordinarily hated tea, sipped approvingly.Into this relaxed atmosphere came Rogers.And Rogers was upset. He said nervously and at random:"Excuse me, sir, but does any one know whats become of the bathroomcurtain?" Lombards head went up with a jerk."The bathroom curtain? What the devil do you mean, Rogers?""Its gone, sir, clean vanished. I was going round drawing all thecurtaiiis and the one in the lav-bathroom wasnt there any longer."Mr. Justice Wargrave asked:"Was it there this morning?"290 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Oh, yes, sir." Blore said: "What kind of a curtain was it?" "Scarletoilsilk, sir. It went with the scarlet tiles." Lombard said: "And itsgone?" "Gone, Sir." They stared at each other. Blore said heavily: "Well-after all-what of it? Its mad-but sos everything else. Anyway, it doesntmatter. You cant kill anybody with an oilsilk curtain. Forget about it."Rogers said: "Yes, sir, thank you, sir." He went out, shutting the door
  • behind him. Inside the room, the pall of fear had fallen anew. Again,surreptitiously, they watched each other.6Dinner came, was eaten, and cleared away. A simple meal, mostly out oftins. Afterwards, in the living-room, the strain was almost too great tobe borne. At nine oclock, Emily Brent rose to her feet. She said: "Imgoing to bed." Vera said: "Ill go to bed too." The two women went up thestairs and Lombard and Blore came with them. Standing at the top of thestairs, the two men watched the women go into their respective rooms andshut the doors. They heard the sound of two bolts being shot and theturning of two keys. Blore said with a grin: "No need to tell em to locktheir doors!" Lombard said: "Well, theyre all right for the night, at anyrate!" He went down again and the other followed him.AND THEN THERE WERE NONE7The four men went to bed an hour later. They went up together. Rogers, fromthe dining-room where he was setting the table for breakfast, saw them goup. He heard them pause on the landing above.Then the judges voice spoke."I need hardly advise you, gentlemen, to lock your doors.
  • Blore said:"And, whats more, put a chair under the handle. There are ways of turninglocks from the outside."Lombard murmured:"My dear Blore, the trouble with you is you know too much!"The judge said gravely:"Good-night, gentlemen. May we all meet safely in the morning!"Rogers came out of the dining-room and slipped halfway up the stairs. Hesaw four figures pass through four doors and heard the turning of fourlocks and the shooting of four bolts.He nodded his head."Thats all right," he muttered.He went back into the dining-room. Yes, everything was ready for themorning. His eye lingered on the centre plaque of looking-glass and theseven little china figures.A sudden grin transformed his face.He murmured:"Ill see no one plays tricks to-night, at any rate."Crossing the room he locked the door to the pantry. Then going through theother door to the hall he pulled the door to, locked it and slipped the keyinto his pocket.Then, extinguishing the lights, he hurried up the stairs and into his newbedroom.There was only one possible hiding-place in it, the tall wardrobe, and lielooked into that immediately. Then, locking and bolting the door, heprepared for bed. He said to himself:
  • "No more Indiaii tricks to-night. Ive seen to that . . . ... AND THEN THERE WERE NONE CHAPTER 11 PHILIP LOMBARD had the habit of waking at daybreak. He did so on thisparticular morning. He raised himself on an elbow and listened. The wind hadsomewhat abated but was still blowing. He could hear no sound of rain. . .. At eight oclock the wind was blowing more strongly, but Lombard did nothear it. He was asleep again. At nine-tbirty he was sitting on the edge of his bed looking at his watch.He put it to his ear. Then his lips drew back from his teeth in thatcurious wolf-like smile characteristic of the man. He said very softly: "I think the time has come to do something about this." At twenty-five minutes to ten he was tapping on the closed door of Bloresroom. The latter opened it cautiously. His hair was tousled and his eyeswere still dim with sleep. Philip Lombard said affably: "Sleeping the clock round? Well, shows youve got an easy conscience."Blore said shortly: "Whats the matter?" Lombard answered: "Anybody called you-or brought you any tea? Do you know what time it is?"
  • Blore looked over his shoulder at a small travelling clock by his bedside.He said:"Twenty-five to ten. Wouldnt have believed I could have slept like that.Wheres Rogers?"Philip Lombard said:"Its a case of echo answers where?""What dyou mean?" asked the other sharply.Lombard said:"I mean that Rogers is missing. He isnt in his room or anywhere else. Andtheres no kettle on and the kitchen fire isnt even fit."Blore swore under his breath. He said:"Where the devil can he be? Out on the island somewhere? Wait293Philip Lombard nodded. He moved along the line of closed doors. He foundArmstron up and nearly dressed. Mr. Justice Wargrave, like Blore, had to beroused from sleep. Vera Claythorne was dressed. Emily Brents room wasempty.The little party moved through the house. Rogers room, as Philip Lombardhad already ascertained, was untenanted. The bed had been slept in, and hisrazor and sponge and soap were wet.Lombard said:"He got up all right."Vera said in a low voice which she tried to make firm and assured: "Youdont think hes-hiding somewhere-waiting for us?"
  • Lombard said:"My dear girl, Im prepared to think anything of any one! My advice is thatwe keep together until we find him."Armstrong said:"He must be out on the island somewhere."Blore who had joined them, dressed, but still unshaved, said:"Wheres Miss Brent got to-thats another mystery?"But as they arrived in the hall, Emily Brent came in through the frontdoor. She had on a mackintosh. She said:"The sea is as high as ever. I shouldnt think any boat could put out to-day." Blore said:"Have you been wandering about the island alone, Miss Brent? Dont yourealize that thats an exceedingly foolish thing to do?"Emily Brent said:"I assure you, Mr. Blore, that I kept an extremely sharp lookout." Bloregrunted. He said:"Seen anything of Rogers?"Miss Brents eyebrows rose."Rogers? No, I havent seen him this morning. Why?"Mr. Justice Wargrave, shaved, dressed and with his false teeth in position,came down the stairs. He moved to the open dining-room door. He said:"Ha, laid the table for breakfast, I see."Lombard said:"He might have done that last night."They all moved inside the room, looking at the neatly set plates and
  • cutlery. At the row of cups on the sideboard. At the felt mats placed readyfor the coffee urn.It was Vera who saw it first. She caught the judges arm and the Prin ofherathletic finper,, made the old Pentleman wince294MASTERPIECES OF MURDERShe cried out: "The Indians! Look!" There were only six china figures in themiddle of the table.2They found him shortly afterwards.He was in the little wash-house across the yard. He had been choppingsticks in preparation for lighting the kitchen fire. The small chopper wasstill in his hand. A bigger chopper, a heavy affair, was leaning againstthe door-the metal of it stained a dull brown. It corresponded only toowell with the deep wound in the back of Rogers head. . . .3"Perfectly clear," said Armstrong. "The murderer must have crept up behindhim, swung the chopper once and brought it down on his head as he wasbending over." Blore was busy on the handle of the chopper and the floursifter from the kitchen.
  • Mr. Justice Wargrave asked:"Would it have needed great force, doctor?"Armstrong said gravely:"A woman could have done it if thats what you mean." He gave a quickglance round. Vera Claythorne and Emily Brent had retired to the kitchen."The girl could have done it easily-shes an athletic type. In appearanceMiss Brent is fragile looking, but that type of woman has often a lot ofwiry strength. And you must remember that any one whos mentally unhingedhas a good deal of unsuspected strength."The judge nodded thoughtfully.Blore rose from his knees with a sigh. He said:"No fingerprints. Handle was wiped afterwards."A sound of laughter was heard-they turned sharply. Vera Claythorne wasstanding in the yard. She cried out in a high shrill voice, shaken withwild himtz nf lnimht~r-IIIi~I"Do they keep bees on this island? Tell me that. Where do we go for honey?Ha! ha!"
  • They stared at her uncomprehendingly. It was as though the sane well-balanced girl had gone mad before their eyes. She went on in that highunnatural voice. "Dont stare like that! As though you thought I was mad.Its sane enough what Im asking. Bees, hives, bees! Oh, dont youunderstand? Havent you read that idiotic rhyme? Its up in all yourbedrooms-put there for you to study! We might have come here straightawayif wed had sense. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks. And thenext verse. I know the whole thing by heart, I tell you! Six little Indianboys playing with a hive. And thats why Im asking-do they keep bees onthis island?-isnt it funny?-isnt it damned funny . . . T She beganlaughing wildly again. Dr. Armstrong strode forward. He raised his hand andstruck her a flat blow on the cheek.She gasped, hiccuped-and swallowed. She stood motionless a minute, then shesaid: "Thank you . . . Im all right now."Her voice was once more calm and controlled-the voice of the efficientgames mistress.She turned and went across the yard into the kitchen saying: "Miss Brentand I are getting you breakfast. Can you-bring some sticks to light thefire?" The marks of the doctors hand stood out red on her cheek.As she went into the kitchen Blore said:"Well, you dealt with that all right, doctor."Armstrong said apologetically:"Had to! We cant cope with hysteria on the top of everything else."Philip Lombard said:"Shes not a hysterical type."Armstrong agreed.
  • "Oh, no. Good healthy sensible girl. Just the sudden shock. It might happento anybody."Rogers had chopped a certain amount of firewood before he had been killed.They gathered it up and took it into the kitchen. Vera and Emily Brent werebusy. Miss Brent was raking out the stove. Vera was cutting the rind offthe bacon. Emily Brent said:"Thank you. Well be as quick as we can-say half an hour toAND THEN THERE WERE NONE296MASTERPIECES OF MURDER4Ex-Inspector Blore said in a low hoarse voice to Philip Lombard: "Know whatIm thinkina?"Philip Lombard said:"As youre just about to tell me, its not worth the trouble of guessing."Ex-Inspector Blore was an earnest man. A light touch was incomprehensibleto him. He went on heavily:"There was a case in America. Old gentleman and his wife-both killed withan axe. Middle of the morning. Nobody in the house but the daughter and themaid. Maid, it was proved, couldnt have done it. Daughter was arespectable middle-aged spinster. Seemed incredible. So incredible that
  • they acquitted her. But they never found any other explanation." He paused."I thought of that when I saw the axe -and then when I went into thekitchen and saw her there so neat and calm. Hadnt turned a hair! Thatgirl, coming all over hysterical -well, thats natural-the sort of thingyoud expect-dont you think so?"Philip Lombard said laconically:"It might be."Blore went on."But the other! So neat and prim-wrapped up in that apron-Mrs. Rogersapron, I suppose-saying: Breakfast will be ready in half an hour or so.If you ask me that womans as mad as a hatter! Lots of elderly spinstersgo that way-I dont mean go in for homicide on the grand scale, but goqueer in their heads. Unfortunately its taken her this way. Religiousmania-thinks shes Gods instrument, something of that kind! She sits inher room, you know, reading her Bible."Philip Lombard sighed and said:"Thats hardly proof positive of an unbalanced mentality, Blore." But Blorewent on, ploddingly, perseveringly:"And then she was out-in her mackintosh, said shed been down to look atthe sea."The other shook his head.He said:"Rogers was killed as lie was chopping firewood-that is to say first thingwhen lie got up. Miss Brent wouldnt have needed to wanderI
  • IAND THEN THERE WERE NONE297about outside for hours afterwards. If you ask me, the murderer of Rogerswould take jolly good care to be rolled up in bed snoring."Blore said:"Youre missing the point, Mr. Lombard. If the woman was innocent shed betoo dead scared to go wandering about by herself. Shed only do that if sheknew that she had nothing to fear. Thats to say if she herself is thecriminal." Philip Lombard said:"Thats a good point. . . . Yes, I hadnt thought of that."He added with a faint grin:"Glad you dont still suspect me."Blore said rather shamefacedly:"I did start by thinking of you-that revolver-and the queer story you told-or didnt tell. But Ive realized now that that was really a bit tooobvious." He paused and said: "Hope you feel the same about me."Philip said thoughtfully:"I may be wrong, of course, but I cant feel that youve got enoughimagination for this job. All I can say is, if youre the criminal, yourea damned fine actor and I take my hat off to you." He lowered his voice."Just between ourselves, Blore, and taking into account that well probably
  • both be a couple of stiffs before another day is out, you did indulge inthat spot of perjury, I suppose?"Blore shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. He said at last:"Doesnt seem to make much odds now. Oh, well, here goes. Landor was innocentright enough. The gang had got me squared and between us we got him put awayfor a stretch. Mind you, I wouldnt admit this-""If there were any witnesses," finished Lombard with a grin. "Its justbetween you and me. Well, I hope you made a tidy bit out of it.""Didnt make what I should have done. Mean crowd, the Purcell gang. I gotmy promotion, though.""And Landor got penal servitude and died in prison.""I couldnt know he was going to die, could IT demanded Blore."No, that was your bad luck.""Mine? His, you mean.""Yours, too. Because, as a result of it, it looks as though your own lifeis going to be cut unpleasantly short.""Me?" Blore stared at him. "Do you think Im going to go the way of Rogersand the rest of them? Not me! Im watching out for myselpretty carefully, I can tell you."T I-A: A298 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Oh, well-Im not a betting man. And anyway if you were dead I wouldnt getpaid.""Look here, Mr. Lombard, what do you mean?"Philip Lombard showed his teeth. He said:
  • "I mean, my dear Blore, that in my opinion you havent got a chance!""What?""Your lack of imagination is going to make you absolutely a sitting target.A criminal of the imagination of U. N. Owen can make rings round you anytime he-or she-wants to."Blores face went crimson. He demanded angrily:"And what about you?"Philip Lombards face went hard and dangerous.He said:"Ive a pretty good imagination of my own. Ive been in tight places beforenow and got out of them! I think-I wont say more than that but I think Illget out of this one."5The eg s were in the frying-pan. Vera, at the stove, thought to her.9 self:"Why did I make a hysterical fool of myself? That was a mistake. Keep calm,my girl, keep calm."After all, shed always prided herself on her levelheadedness!"Miss Claythorne was wonderful-kept her head-started off swimming afterCyril at once."Why think of that now? All that was over-over. . . . Cyril haddisappeared long before she got near the rock. She had felt the current take
  • her, sweeping her out to sea. She had let herself go with itswimming quietly,floating-till the boat arrived at last . . . .They had praised her courage and her sang-froid . . . .But not Hugo. Hugo had just-looked at her . . . .God, how it hurt, even now, to think of Hugo . . . .Where was he? What was he doing? Was he engaged-married?Emily Brent said sharply:"Vera, that bacon is burning.""Oh, sorry, Miss Brent, so it is. How stupid of me."Fmilv Rrpnt liftPrI nzif thp Inct P(Ta frnni 01P 6771;nff fqtwIIIIAND THEN THERE WERE NONEVera, putting fresh pieces of bacon in the frying-pan, said curiously:"Youre wonderfully calm, Miss Brent."Emily Brent said, pressing her lips together:"I was brought up to keep my head and never to make a fuss."Vera thought mechanically:"Repressed as a child. . . . That accounts for a lot.She said:
  • "Arent you afraid?"She paused and then added:"Or dont you mind dying?"Dying! It was as though a sharp little gimlet had run into the solidcongealed mass of Emily Brents brain. Dying? But she wasnt going to die!The otherswould die-yes-but not she, Emily Brent. This girl didntunderstand! Emily wasnt afraid, naturally-none of the Brents were afraid.All her people were Service people. They faced death unflinchingly. Theyled upright lives just as she, Emily Brent, had led an upright life. . .. She had never done anything to be ashamed of. . . . And so, naturally,she wasnt going to die. . . ."The Lord is mindful of his own." "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terrorby night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day. . . ." It was daylight now-there was no terror. "We shall none of us leave this island." Who had saidthat? General Macarthur, of course, whose cousin had married ElsieMacPherson. He hadnt seemed to care. He had seemed-actually-to welcome theidea! Wicked! Almost impious to feel that way. Some people thought solittle of death that they actually took their own lives. Beatrice Taylor.. . . Last night she had dreamed of Beatrice-dreamt that she was outsidepressing her face against the window and moaning, asking to be let in. ButEmily Brent hadnt wanted to let her in. Because, if she did, somethingterrible would happen. . . .Emily came to herself with a start. That girl was looking at her verystrangely. She said in a brisk voice:"Everythings ready, isnt it? Well take the breakfast in."
  • 6Breakfast was a curious meal. Every one was very polite. "May I get you somemore coffee, Miss Brent?"49X X. ~1II .~ 1-1300 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Another piece of bacon?"Six people, all outwardly self-possessed and normal.And within? Thoughts that ran round in a circle like squirrels in a cage... ."What next? What next? Who? Which?""Would it work? I wonder. Its worth trying. If theres time. MyGod, if theres time . . . ..."Religious mania, thats the ticket. . . . Looking at her, though,you can hardly believe it. . . . Suppose Im wrong. . . .""Its crazy-everythings crazy. Im going crazy. Wool disappearing -redsilk curtains-it doesnt make sense. I cant get the hang of it. . . .""The damned fool, he believed every word I said to him. It was easy. . . .I must be careful, though, very careful.""Six of those little china figures be by to-night? . . .""Wholl have the last egg?""Marmalade?"
  • "Thanks, can I give you some ham?"Six people, behaving normally at breakfast. . .CHAPTER 12only six-how many will thereTHE MEAL was over. Mr. Justice Wargrave cleared his throat. He said in asmall authoritative voice: "It would be advisable, I think, if we met todiscuss the situation. Shall we say in half an hours time in the drawing-room?" Every one made a sound suggestive of agreement. Vera began to pileplates together. She said: "Ill clear away and wash up." Philip Lombardsaid: "Well bring the stuff out to the pantry for you." "Thanks." EmilyBrent, rising to her feet, sat clown again. She said: "Oh, dear." The judgesaid: "Anything the matter, Miss Brent?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONEEmily said apologetically:"Im sorry. Id like to help Miss Claythorne, but I dont know how it is.I feel just a little giddy.""Giddy, eh?" Dr. Armstrong came towards her. "Quite natural. Delayed shock.I can give you something to-""No!"The word burst from her lips like an exploding shell.
  • It took every one aback. Dr. Armstrong flushed a deep red.There was no mistaking the fear and suspicion in her face. He said stiffly:"Just as you please, Miss Brent."She said:"I dont wish to take anything-anything at all. I will just sit herequietly till the giddiness passes off."They finished clearing away the breakfast things.Blore said:"Im a domestic sort of man. Ill give you a hand, Miss Claythorne." Verasaid: "Thank you." Emily Brent was left alone sitting in the dining-room.For a while she heard a faint murmur of voices from the pantry.The giddiness was passing. She felt drowsy now, as though she could easilygo to sleep.There was a buzzing in her ears-or was it a real buzzing in the room? Shethought:"Its like a bee-a bumblebee."Presently she saw the bee. It was crawling up the window-pane.Vera Claythorne had talked about bees this morning.Bees and honey.She liked honey. Honey in the comb, and strain it yourself through a muslinbag. Drip, drip, drip. .There was somebody in the room ping. . . . Beatrice Taylor came from theriver. . . .She had only to turn her head and she would see her.But she couldnt turn her head.
  • If she were to call out . . .But she couldnt call out. .There was no one else in the house. She was all alone.She heard footsteps-soft dragging footsteps coming up behind her. Tilestumbling footsteps of the drowned girl.There was a wet dank smell in her nostrils.. somebody all wet and drip- 302 MASTERPIECES OF MURDEROn the window-pane the bee was buzzing-buzzing. And then she felt the prick.The bee sting on the side of her neck.2In the drawing-room they were waiting for Emily Brent.Vera Claythorne said:"Shall I go and fetch her?"Blore said quickly:"Just a minute."Vera sat down again. Every one looked inquiringly at Blore.He said:"Look here, everybody, my opinions this: we neednt look farther for theauthor of these deaths than the dining-room at this minute. Id take myoath that womans the one were after!"Armstrong said:
  • "And the motive?""Religious mania. What do you say, doctor?"Armstrong said:"Its perfectly possible. Ive nothing to say against it. But of courseweve no proof."Vera said:"She was very odd in the kitchen when we were getting breakfast. Her eyes-"She shivered.Lombard said:"You cant judge her by that. Were all a bit off our heads by now!" Bloresaid:"Theres another thing. Shes the only one who wouldnt give an explanationafter that gramophone record. Why? Because she hadnt any to give."Vera stirred in her chair. She said:"Thats not quite true. She told me-afterwards."Wargrave said:"What did she tell you, Miss Claythorne?"Vera repeated the story of Beatrice Taylor.Mr. Justice Wargrave observed:"A perfectly straightforward story. I personally should have norl;ffio,df~, ;~ --f;- 4 7.11 - TM-A;A A- -_- f-AND THEN THERE WERE NONE303
  • be troubled by a sense of guilt or a feeling of remorse for her attitude inthe matter?""None whatever," said Vera. "She was completely unmoved."Blore said:"Hearts as hard as flints, these righteous spinsters! Envy, mostly!" Mr.Justice Wargrave said:"It is now five minutes to eleven. I think we should summon Miss Brent tojoin our conclave."Blore said:"Arent you going to take any action?"The judge said:"I fail to see what action we can take. Our suspicions are, at the moment,only suspicions. I will, however, ask Dr. Armstrong to observe Miss Brentsdemeanour very carefully. Let us now go into the dining-room."They found Emily Brent sitting in the chair in which they had left her.From behind they saw nothing amiss, except that she did not seem to heartheir entrance into the room.And then they saw her face-suffused with blood, with blue lips and staringeyes. Blore said:"My God, shes dead!"3The small quiet voice of Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"One more of us acquitted-too late!"Armstrong was bent over the dead woman. He sniffed the lips, shook his
  • head, peered into the eyelids.Lombard said impatiently:"How did she die, doctor? She was all right when we left her here!"Armstrongs attention was riveted on a mark on the right side of the neck.He said:"nats the mark of a hypodermic syringe."There was a buzzing sound from the window. Vera cried:"Look-a bee-a bumblebee. Remember what I said this morning!"304 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"It wasnt that bee that stung her! A human hand held the syringe." Thejudge asked:"What poison was injected?"Armstrong answered:"At a guess, one of the Cyanides. Probably Potassium Cyanide, same asAnthony Marston. She must have died almost immediately by asphyxiation."Vera cried:"But that bee? It cant be coincidence?"Lombard said grimly:"Oh, no, it isnt coincidence! Its our murderers touch of local colour!Hes a playful beast. Likes to stick to his damnable nursery jingle asclosely as possible!"For the first time his voice was uneven, almost shrill. It was as thougheven his nerves, seasoned by a long career of hazards and dangerousundertakings, had given out at last.
  • He said violently:"Its mad!-absolutely mad-were all mad!"The judge said calmly:"We have still, I hope, our reasoning powers. Did any one bring ahypodermic syringe to this house?"Dr. Armstrong, straightening himself, said in a voice that was not too wellassured:"Yes, I did."Four pairs of eyes fastened on him. He braced himself against the deephostile suspicion of those eyes. He said:"Always travel with one. Most doctors do."Mr. Justice Wargrave said calmly:"Quite so. Will you tell us, doctor, where that syringe is now?""In the suitcase in my room."Wargrave said:"We might, perhaps, verify that fact."The five of them went upstairs, a silent procession.The contents of the suitcase were turned out on the floor.The hypodermic syringe was not there.AND THEN THERE WERE NONE4305
  • Armstrong said violently:"Somebody must have taken it!"There was silence in the room.Armstrong stood with his back to the window. Four pairs of eyes were onhim, black with suspicion and accusation. He looked from Wargrave to Veraand repeated helplessly-weakly:"I tell you some one must have taken it."Blore was looking at Lombard who returned his gaze.The judge said:"There are five of us here in this room. One of us is a murderer. Theposition is fraught with grave danger. Everything must be done in order tosafeguard the four of us who are innocent. I will now ask you, Dr.Armstrong, what drugs you have in your possession?"Armstrong replied:"I have a small medicine case here. You can examine it. You will find somesleeping stuff-trional and sulphonal tablets-a packet of bromide,bicarbonate of soda, aspirin. Nothing else. I have no Cyanide in mypossession."The judge said:"I have, myself, some sleeping tablets-sulphonal, I think they are. Ipresume they would be lethal if a sufficiently large dose were given. You,Mr. Lombard, have in your possession a revolver."Philip Lombard said sharply:"What if I have?""Only this. I propose that the doctors supply of drugs, my own sulphonal
  • tablets, your revolver and anything else of the nature of drugs or firearmsshould be collected together and placed in a safe place. That after this isdone, we should each of us submit to a search -both of our persons and ofour effects." Lombard said:"Im damned if Ill give up my revolver!"Wargrave said sharply:"Mr. Lombard, you are a very strongly built and powerful young man, butex-Inspector Blore is also a man of powerful physique. I do not know what theoutcome of a struggle between you would be but I can tell you this. OnBlores side, assisting him to the best of our abilitv will hn. mv-elf DrArm-trnno, qnd Mi-q Clqvthorne You will an- MASTERPIECES OF MURDERpreciate, therefore, that the odds against you if you choose to resist willbe somewhat heavy." Lombard threw his head back. His teeth showed in whatwas al- most a snarl. "Oh, very well then. Since youve got it all tapedout." Mr. Justice Wargrave nodded his head. "You are a sensible young man.Where is this revolver of yours?" "In the drawer of the table by my bed.""Good." "Ill fetch it." "I think it would be desirable if we went withyou." Philip said with a smile that was still nearer a snarl: "Suspiciousdevil, arent you?" They went along the corridor to Lombards room. Philipstrode across to the bed-table and jerked open the drawer. Then he recoiledwith an oath. The drawer of the bed-table was empty.5
  • "Satisfied?" asked Lombard.He had stripped to the skin and he and his room had been meticulouslysearched by the other three men. Vera Claythorne was outside in thecorridor. The search proceeded methodically. In turn, Armstrong, the judgeand Blore submitted to the same test.The four men emerged from Blores room and approached Vera. It was thejudge who spoke."I hope you will understand, Miss Claytborne, that we can make noexceptions. That revolver must be found. You have, I presume, a bathingdress with you?" Vera nodded."Then I will ask you to go into your room and put it on and then come outto us here.)Vera went into her room and shut the door. She reappeared in under a minutedressed in a tight-fitting silk rucked bathing dress.Wargrave nodded approval."Thank you, Miss Claythorne. Now if you will remain here, we xv;n --6 --, -_ I$AND THEN THERE WERE NONE307Vera waited patiently in the corridor until they emerged. Then she went in,dressed, and came out to where they were waiting.The judge said:
  • "We are now assured of one thing. There are no lethal weapons or drugs inthe possession of any of us five. That is one point to the good. We willnow place the drugs in a safe place. There is, I think, a silver chest, isthere not, in the pantry?"Blore said:"Thats all very well, but whos to have the key? You, I suppose."Mr. Justice Wargrave made no reply.He went down to the pantry and the others followed him. There was a smallcase there designed for the purpose of holding silver and plate. By thejudges directions, the various drugs were placed in this and it waslocked. Then, still on Wargraves instructions, the chest was lifted intothe plate cupboard and this in turn was locked. The judge then gave the keyof the chest to Philip Lombard and the key of the cupboard to Blore.He said:"You two are the strongest physically. It would be difficult for either ofyou to get the key from the other. It would be impossible for any of usthree to do so. To break open the cupboard-or the plate chest-would be anoisy and cumbrous proceeding and one which could hardly be carried outwithout attention being attracted to what was going on."He paused, then went on:"We are still faced by one very grave problem. What has become of Mr.Lombards revolver?"Blore said:"Seems to me its owner is the most likely person to know that."A white dint showed in Philip Lombards nostrils. He said:
  • "You damned pig-headed fool! I tell you its been stolen from me.Wargrave asked:"When did you see it last?""Last night. It was in the drawer when I went to bed-ready in case anythinghappened."The judge nodded.He said:"It must have been taken this morning during the confusion of searching forRogers or after his dead body was discovered."vi-,r,q ~,qiri-308 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERit."It must be hidden somewhere about the house. We must look forP~Mr. Justice Wargraves finger was stroking his chin. He said:"I doubt if our search will result in anything. Our murderer has had plentyof time to devise a hiding-place. I do not fancy we shall find thatrevolver easily."Blore said forcefully:"I dont know where the revolver is, but Ill bet I know where somethingelse is-that hypodermic syringe. Follow me."He opened the front door and led the way round the house.
  • A little distance away from the dining-room window he found the syringe.Beside it was a smashed china figure-a fifth broken Indian boy.Blore said in a satisfied voice:"Only place it could be. After hed killed her, he opened the window andthrew out the syringe and picked up the china figure from the table andfollowed on with that."There were no prints on the syringe. It had been carefully wiped.Vera said in a determined voice:"Now let us look for the revolver."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"By all means. But in doing so let us be careful to keep together.Remember, if we separate, the murderer gets his chance."They. searched the house carefully from attic to cellars, but withoutresult. Ile revolver was still missing.CHAPTER 13"One of us . . . One of us . . . One of us . . .Three words, endlessly repeated, dinning themselves hour after hour intoreceptive brains.Five people-five frightened people. Five people who watched each other, whonow hardly troubled to hide their state of nervous tension.There was little pretence now-no formal veneer of conversation. They werefive enemies linked together by a mutual instinct of selfpreservation.And all of them, suddenly, looked less like human beings. They were
  • reverting to more bestial types. Like a wary old tortoise, Mr. JusticeWargrave sat hunched up, his body motionless, his eyes keenAND THEN THERE WERE NONET~and alert. Ex-Inspector Blore looked coarser and clumsier in build. His walkwas that of a slow padding animal. His eyes were bloodshot. There was a lookof mingled ferocity and stupidity about him. He was like a beast at bayready to charge its pursuers. Philip Lombards senses seemed heightened,rather than diminished. His ears reacted to the slightest sound. His stepwas lighter and quicker, his body was lithe and graceful. And he smiledoften, his lips curling back from his long white teeth.Vera Claythorne was very quiet. She sat most of the time huddled in achair. Her eyes stared ahead of her into space. She looked dazed. She waslike a bird that has dashed its head against glass and that has been pickedup by a human hand. It crouches there, terrified, unable to move, hopingto save itself by its immobility.Armstrong was in a pitiable condition of nerves. He twitched and his handsshook. He lighted cigarette after cigarette and stubbed them out almostimmediately. The forced inaction of their position seemed to gall him morethan the others. Every now and then he broke out into a torrent of nervousspeech."We-we shouldnt just sit here doing nothing! There must be something-
  • surely, surely, there is something that we can do? If we lit a bonfire-"Blore said heavily:"In this weather?"The rain was pouring down again. The wind came in fitful gusts. Thedepressing sound of the pattering rain nearly drove them mad.By tacit consent, they had adopted a plan of campaign. They all sat in thebig drawing-room. Only one person left the room at a time. The other fourwaited till the fifth returned.Lombard said:"Its only a question of time. The weather will clear. Then we can dosomething-signal-light fires-make a raft-something!"Armstrong said with a sudden cackle of laughter:"A question of time-time? We cant afford time! We shall all be dead. . .." Mr. Justice Wargrave said, and his small clear voice was heavy withpassionate determination:"Not if we are careful. We must be very careful.The mid-day meal had been duly eaten-but there had been no conventionalformality about it. All five of them bad gone to the kitchen. In the larderthey had found a great store of tinned foods. They had opened a tin oftongue and two tins of fruit. They had eaten standing round the kitchentable. Then, herding close together, they310MASTERPIECES OF MURDERhad returned to the drawing-room-to sit there-sit-watching each other. . .
  • . And by now the thoughts that ran through their brains were abnormal,feverish, diseased. . . . "Its Armstrong . . . I saw him looking at me sideways just then . his eyes are mad . . . quite mad . . . . Perhaps he isnt a doctor atall. . . . Thats it, of course! . . . Hes a lunatic, escaped from somedoctors house-pretending to be a doctor. . . . Its true . . . shall Itell them? . . . Shall I scream out? . . . No, it wont do to put him onhis guard . . . . Besides he can seem so sane. . . . What time is it? . .. Only a quarter past three! . . . Oh, God, I shall go mad myself . . . .Yes, its Armstrong . . . . Hes watching me now. . 1) "They wont get me! I can take care of myself. . . . Ive been in tightplaces before. . . . Where the hell is that revolver? . . . Who took it?. . . Whos got it? . . . Nobodys got it-we know that. We were all searched. . . . Nobody can have it . . . . But some one knows whereit is. . . ." "Theyre going mad . . . theyll all go mad . . . . Afraid of death . were all afraid of death . . . Im afraid of death. . . . Yes, but that doesnt stop death coming. . . . The hearse is at the door, sir. Where didI read that? The girl . . . Ill watch the girl. Yes, Ill watch the girl.. . ." "Twenty to four . only twenty to four . . . perhaps the clock hasstopped. . . . I dont understand-no, I dont understand. . . . This sortof thing cant happen . . . it is happening. . . . Why dont we wake up?Wake up-4udgment Day-no, not that! If I could only think. . . . My head-
  • somethings happening in my head-its going to burst-its going to split.. . . This sort of thing cant happen. . . .Whats the time? Oh, God! its only a quarter to four.""I must keep my head . . . I must keep my head. . . . If only Ikeep my head . . . Its all perfectly clear-all worked out. But nobody mustsuspect. It may do the trick. It must! Which one? Thats the question-whichone? I think-yes, I rather think-yes-him."When the clock struck five they all jumped.Vera said:"Does any one-want tea?"There was a moments silence. Blore said:"Id like a cup."Vera rose. She said:"Ill go and make it. You can all stay here."Mr. Justice Wargrave said gently:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"I think, my dear young lady, we would all prefer to come and watch youmake it."Vera stared, then gave a short rather hysterical laugh.She said:"Of course! You would!"Five people went into the kitchen. Tea was made and drunk by Vera and
  • Blore. The other three had whiskey-opening a fresh bottle and using asiphon from a nailed up case.The judge murmured with a reptilian smile:"We must be very careful. . . ."They went back again to the drawing-room. Although it was summer the roomwas dark. Lombard switched on the lights but they did not come on. He said:"Of course! The engines not been run to-day since Rogers hasnt been thereto see to it."He hesitated and said:"We could go out and get it going, I suppose."Mr. Justice Wargrave said:"There are packets of candles in the larder, I saw them, better use those."Lombard went out. The other four sat watching each other.He came back with a box of candles and a pile of saucers. Five candles werelit and placed about the room.The time was a quarter to six.2At twenty past six, Vera felt that to sit there longer was unbearable. Shewould go to her room and bathe her aching head and temples in cold water.She got up and went towards the door. Then she remembered and came back andgot a candle out of the box. She lighted it, let a little wax pour into asaucer and stuck the candle firmly to it. Then she went out of the room,shutting the door behind her and leaving the four men inside.
  • She went up the stairs and along the passage to her room.As she opened her door, she suddenly halted and stood stock stiff.Her nostrils quivered.The sea . . . The smell of the sea at St. Tredennick . . .That was it. She could not be mistaken. Of course one smelt the312 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERsea on an island anyway, but this was different. It was the smell there hadbeen on the beach that day-with the tide out and the rocks covered withseaweed drying in the sun."Can I swim out to the island, Miss Claythorne?""Why cant I swim out to the island?. . ."Horrid whiny spoilt little brat! If it werent for him, Hugo would be rich. . . able to marry the girl he loved.Hugo . . .Surely-surely-Hugo was beside her? No, waiting for her in the room. . . .She made a step forward. The draught from the window caught the flame of thecandle. It flickered and went out.In the dark she was suddenly afraid. . . ."Dont be a fool," Vera Claythorne urged herself. "Its all right. Theothers are downstairs. All four of them. Theres no one in the room. Therecant be. Youre imagining things, my girl-"But that smell-that smell of the beach at St. Tredennick . . . that wasntimagined. It was true. . . .And there was some one in the room . . . . She had heard something-surely
  • she had heard something . . . .And then, as she stood there, listening-a cold, clammy hand touched herthroat-a wet hand, smelling of the sea. . . .3Vera screamed. She screamed and screamed-screams of the utmost terror-wilddesperate cries for help.She did not hear the sounds from below, of a chair being overturned, of adoor opening, of mens feet running up the stairs. She was conscious onlyof su preme terror.Then, restoring her sanity, lights flickered in the doorway-candles -menhurrying into the room."What the devil?" "Whats happened?" "Good God, what is it?"She shuddered, took a step forward, collapsed on the floor.She was only half aware of some one bending over her, of some one forcingher head down between her knees.Then at a sudden exclamation, a quick "My God, look at that!" her sensesreturned. She opened her eyes and raised her head. She saw what it was themen with the candles were looking at.AND THEN THERE WERE NONEA broad ribbon of wet seaweed was hanging down from the ceiling. It was
  • that which in the darkness had swayed against her throat. It was that whichshe had taken for a clammy hand, a drowned hand come back from the dead tosqueeze the life out of her! . . .She began to laugh hysterically. She said:"It was seaweed-only seaweed-and thats what the smell was. . . .And then the faintness came over her once more-waves upon waves ofsickness. Again some one took her head and forced it between her knees.Aeons of time seemed to pass. They were offering her something to drink-pressing the glass against her lips. She smelt brandy.She was just about to gulp the spirit gratefully down when, suddenly, awarning note-like an alarm bell-sounded in her brain. She sat up, pushingthe glass away. She said sharply:"Where did this come from?"Blores voice answered. He stared a minute before speaking. He said: "Igot it from downstairs."Vera cried:"I wont drink it.There was a moments silence, then Lombard laughed.He said with appreciation:"Good for you, Vera! Youve got your wits about you-even if you have beenscared half out of your life. Ill get a fresh bottle that hasnt beenopened." He went swiftly out.Vera said uncertainly:"Im all right now. Ill have some water."Armstrong supported her as she strug led to her feet. She went C19
  • over to the basin, swaying and clutching at him for support. She let thecold tap run and then filled the glass. Blore said resentfully: "Thatbrandys all right." Armstrong said: "How do you know?" Blore said angrily:"I didnt put anything in it. Thats what youre getting at, I suppose."Armstrong said:314 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Im not saying you did. You might have done it, or some one might havetampered with the bottle for just this emergency."Lombard came swiftly back into the room.He had a new bottle of brandy in his hands and a corkscrew.He thrust the sealed bottle under Veras nose."There you are, my girl. Absolutely no deception." He peeled off the tinfoil and drew the cork. "Lucky theres a good supply of spirits in thehouse. Thoughtful of U. N. Owen."Vera shuddered violently.Armstrong held the glass while Philip poured the brandy into it, He said:"Youd better drink this, Miss Claythorne. Youve had a nasty shock." Veradrank a little of the spirit. The colour came back to her face. PhilipLombard said with a laugh:"Well, heres one murder that hasnt gone according to plan!"Vera said almost in a whisper:"You think-that was what was meant?"Lombard nodded."Expected you to pass out through fright! Some people would have, wouldntthey, doctor.
  • Armstrong did not commit himself. He said doubtfully:"Hm, impossible to say. Young healthy subject-no cardiac weakness.Unlikely. On the other hand-"He picked up the glass of brandy that Blore had brought. He dipped a fingerin it, tasted it gingerly. His expression did not alter. He said dubiously:"Hm, tastes all right."Blore stepped forward angrily. He said:"If youre saying that I tampered with that, Ill knock your ruddy blockoff." Vera, her wits revived by the brandy, made a diversion by saying:"Wheres the judge?"The three men looked at each other."Thats odd . . . . Thought he came up with us."Blore said:"So did I. . . . What about it, doctor? You came up the stairs behind me."Armstrong said:"I thought he was following me. . . . Of course, hed be bound to go slowerthan we did. Hes an old man."They looked at each other again.Lombard said:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"Its damned odd.Blore cried:"We must look for him."
  • He started for the door. The others followed him3 Vera last.As they went down the stairs Armstrong said over his shoulder:"Of course he may have stayed in the living-room.They crossed the hall. Armstrong called out loudly:"Wargrave, Wargrave, where are you?"There was no answer. A deadly silence filled the house apart from thegentle patter of the rain.Then, in the entrance to the drawing-room door, Armstrong stopped dead. Theothers crowded up and looked over his shoulder.Somebody cried out.Mr. Justice Wargrave was sitting in his high-backed chair at the end of theroom. Two candles burnt on either side of him. But what shocked andstartled the onlookers was the fact that he sat there robed in scarlet witha judges wig upon his head. . . .Dr. Armstrong motioned to the others to keep back. He himself walked acrossto the silent staring figure, reeling a little as he walked like a drunkenman. He bent forward, peering into the still face. Then, with a swiftmovement, he raised the wig. It fell to the floor, revealing the high baldforehead with, in the very middle, a round stained mark from whichsomething had trickled. . . . Dr. Armstrong raised the limp hand and feltfor the pulse. Then he turned to the others.He said-and his voice was expressionless, dead, far away:"Hes been shot.Blore said:"God-the revolver!"The doctor said, still in the same lifeless voice:
  • "Got him through the head. Instantaneous."Vera stooped to the wig. She said, and her voice shook with horror: "MissBrents missing grey wool.Blore said:"And the scarlet curtain that was missing from the bathroom. . . " Verawhispered:"So this is what they wanted them for.Suddenly Philip Lombard laughed-a high unnatural laugh."Five little Indian boys going in for law; one got in Chancery and II. ..316 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERthen there were four. Thats the end of Mr. Bloody Justice Wargrave. Nomore pronouncing sentence for him! No more putting on of the black cap!Heres the last time hell ever sit in court! No more summing up and sendinginnocent men to death. How Edward Seton would laugh if he were here! God,how hed laugh!" His outburst shocked and startled the others. Vera cried:"Only this morning you said he was the one!" Philip Lombards face changed-sobered. He said in a low voice: "I know I did. . . . Well, I was wrong.Heres one more of us whos been proved innocent-too late!"CHAPTER 14
  • THEY HAD CARRIED Mr. Justice Wargrave up to his room and laid him on thebed. Then they had come down again and had stood in the hall looking ateach other. Blore said heavily:"What do we do now?"Lombard said briskly:"Have something to eat. Weve got to eat, you know."Once again they went into the kitchen. Again they opened a tin of tongue.They ate mechanically, almost without tasting.Vera said:"I shall never eat tongue again."They finished the meal. They sat round the kitchen table staring at eachother.Blore said:"Only four of us now. . . . Wholl be the next?"Armstrong stared. He said, almost mechanically:"We must be very careful-" and stopped.Blore nodded."Thats what he said. . . . And now hes dead!"Armstrong said:"How did it happen, I wonder?"Lombard swore. He said:"A damned clever double cross! That stuff was planted in MissAND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • Claythornes room and it worked just as it was intended to. Every one dashesup there thinking shes being murdered. And so-in the confusion-some one-caught the old boy off his guard."Blore said:"Why didnt any one hear the shot?"Lombard shook his head."Miss Claythorne was screaming, the wind was howling, we were running aboutand calling out. No, it wouldnt be heard." He paused. "But that tricks notgoing to work again. Hell have to try something else next time."Blore said:"He probably will."There was an unpleasant tone in his voice. The two men eyed each other.Armstrong said:"Four of us, and we dont know which.Blore said: it"I know. . . . Vera said: "I havent the least doubt. Armstrong said slowly:"I suppose I do know really. Philip Lombard said: "I think Ive got a prettygood idea now . . . Again they all looked at each other . . . . Verastaggered to her feet. She said: "I feel awful. I must go to bed. . . . Imdead beat." Lombard said: "Might as well. No good sitting watching eachother." Blore said: "Ive no objection . . . ... The doctor murmured: "Thebest thing to do-although I doubt if any of us will sleep." They moved tothe door. Blore said: "I wonder where that revolver is now?
  • 112They went up the stairs. The next move was a little like a scene in a farce.318 MASTERPIECES OF MURDEREach one of the four stood with a hand on his or her bedroom door handle.Then, as though at a signal, each one stepped into the room and pulled thedoor shut. There were sounds of bolts and locks, of the moving of furniture.Four frightened people were barricaded in until morning.3Philip Lombard drew a breath of relief as he turned from adjusting a chairunder the door handle.He strolled across to the dressing-table.By the light of the flickering candle he studied his face curiously. Hesaid softly to himself:"Yes, this business has got you rattled all right."His sudden wolf-like smile flashed out.He undressed quickly.He went over to the bed, placing his wrist-watch on the table by the bed.Then he opened the drawer of the table.He stood there, staring down at the revolver that was inside
  • it . . . .4Vera Claythorne lay in bed.The candle still burned beside her.As yet she could not summon the courage to put it out.She was afraid of the dark. . . .She told herself again and again: "Youre all right until morning. Nothinghappened last night. Nothing will happen to-night. Nothing can happen.Youre locked and bolted in. No one can come near you. . . .And she thought suddenly:"Of course! I can stay here! Stay here locked in! Food doesnt reallymatter! I can stay here-safely-till help comes! Even if its a day -or twodays. . . ." Stay here. Yes, but could she stay here? Hour after hour-withno one to speak to, with nothing to do but think. . . .AND THEN THERE WERE NONEShed begin to think of Cornwall-of Hugo-of-of what shed said to Cyril.Horrid whiny little boy, always pestering her."Miss Claythorne, why cant I swim out to the rock? I can. I know I can."Was it her voice that had answered?"Of course you can, Cyril, really. I know that."
  • "Can I go then, Miss Claythorne?""Well, you see, Cyril, your mother gets so nervous about you. Ill tell youwhat. To-morrow you can swim out to the rock. Ill talk to your mother onthe beach and distract her attention. And then, when she looks for you,there youll be standing on the rock waving to her! It will be a surprise!""Ob, good egg, Miss Claythorne! That will be a lark!"Shed said it now. To-morrow! Hugo was going to Newquay. When he came back-it would be all over.Yes, but supposing it wasnt? Supposing it went wrong? Cyril might berescued in time. And then-then hed say, "Miss Claythorne said I could."Well, what of it? One must take some risk! If the worst happened shedbrazen it out. "How can you tell such a wicked lie, Cyril? Of course Inever said any such thing!" Theyd believe her all right. Cyril often toldstories. He was an untruthful child. Cyril would know, of course. But thatdidnt matter. . . . And anyway nothing would go wrong. Shed pretend toswim out after him. But shed arrive too late. . . . Nobody would eversuspect. . . .Had Hugo suspected? Was that why he had looked at her in that queer far-offway. . . ?Had Hugo known?Was that why he had gone off after the inquest so hurriedly?He hadnt answered the one letter she had written to him. . . .Hugo . . .Vera turned restlessly in bed. No, no, she mustnt think of Hugo. It hurttoo much! That was all over, over and done with.must be forgotten. . .Why, this evening, had she suddenly felt that Hugo was in the room with
  • her? She stared up at the ceiling, stared at the big black hook in themiddle of the room. Shed never noticed that hook before. The seaweed had hung from that. . . . She shivered as she remembered that cold clammy touch on her neck. . . . -1 I fiI I I . . . Hugo 320 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER She didnt like that hook on the ceiling. It drew your eyes, fascinated you. . . a big black hook. . 5 Ex-Inspector Blore sat on the side of his bed. His small eyes, red-rimmed and bloodshot, were alert in the solid mass of
  • his face. He was like a wild boar waiting to charge.He felt no inclination to sleep.The menace was coming very near now. . . . Six out of ten!For all his sagacity, for all his caution and astuteness, the old judge hadgone the way of the rest.Blore snorted with a kind of savage satisfaction."What was it the old geezer had said?""We must be very careful. . . .Self-righteous smug old hypocrite. Sitting up in court feeling likeGod Almighty. Hed got his all right. . . . No more being careful for him.And now there were four of them. The girl, Lombard, Armstrong and himself.Very soon another of them would go. . . . But it wouldnt be William HenryBlore. Hed see to that all right.(But the revolver. . . . What about the revolver? That was the disturbingfactor-the revolver!)Blore sat on his bed, his brow furrowed, his little eyes creased andpuckered while he pondered the problem of the revolver. . . .In the silence he could hear the clocks strike downstairs.Midnight.He relaxed a little now-even went so far as to lie down on his bed. But hedid not undress.He lay there, thinking. Going over the whole business from the beginning,methodically, painstakingly, as he had been wont to do in his police officerdays. It was thoroughness that paid in the end.
  • The candle was burning down. Looking to see if the matches were within easyreach of his hand, he blew it out.Strangely enough, he found the darkness disquieting. It was as though athousand age-old fears awoke and struggled for supremacy in his brain.Faces floated in the air-the judges face crowned with that mockery of greywool-the cold dead face of Mrs. Rogers-the convulsed purple face of AnthonyMarston. .AND THEN THERE WERE NONE321Another face-pale, spectacled, with a small straw-coloured moustache. . .. A face he had seen sometime or other-but when? Not on the island. No,much longer ago than that.Funny, that he couldnt put a name to it. really-fellow looked a bit of amug. Of course!It came to him with a real shock.Landor!. Silly sort of f aceOdd to think hed completely forgotten what Landor looked like. Onlyyesterday hed been trying to recall the fellows face, and hadnt beenable to. And now here it was, every feature clear and distinct, as though
  • he had seen it only yesterday. . . .Landor had had a wife-a thin slip of a woman with a worried face. Theredbeen a kid too, a girl about fourteen. For the first time, he wondered whathad become of them.(The revolver. What had become of the revolver? That was muchmore important . . . . )The more he thought about it the more puzzled he was.Hedidnt understand this revolver business. . . .Somebody in the house had got that revolver. . . .Downstairs a clock struck one.Blores thoughts were cut short. He sat up on the bed, suddenly alert. Forhe had heard a sound-a very faint sound-somewhere outside his bedroom door.There was some one moving about in the darkened house.The perspiration broke out on his forehead. Who was it, moving secretly andsilently along the corridors? Some one who was up to no good, hed bet that!Noiselessly, in spite of his heavy build, he dropped off the bed and withtwo strides was standing by the door listening. But the sound did not come again. Nevertheless Blore was convinced that hewas not mistaken. He had heard a footfall just outside his door. The hairrose slightly on his scalp. He knew fear again. . . .Some one creeping about stealthily in the nightHe listened-but the sound was not repeated.And now a new temptation assailed him. He wanted, desperately, to go outand investigate. If he could only see who it was prowling about in thedarkness. But to open his door would be the action of a fool. Very likelythat
  • . ..322 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERwas exactly what the other was waiting for. He might even have meant Bloreto hear what he had heard, counting on him coming out to investigate.Blore stood rigid-listening. He could hear sounds everywhere now, cracks,rustles, mysterious whispers-but his dogged realistic brain knew them forwhat they were-the creations of his own heated imagination.And then suddenly he heard something that was not imagination. Footsteps,very soft, very cautious, but plainly audible to a ma,n listening with allhis ears as Blore was listening.They came softly along the corridor (both Lombards and Armstrongs roomswere further from the stair-head than his). They passed his door withouthesitating or faltering.And as they did so, Blore made up his mind.He meant to see who it was! The footsteps had definitely passed his doorgoing to the stairs. Where was the man going?When Blore acted, he acted quickly, surprisingly so for a man who lookedso heavy and slow. He tiptoed back to the bed, slipped matches into hispocket, detached the plug of the electric lamp by his bed, and picked itup winding the flex round it. It was a chromium affair with a heavy ebonitebase-a useful weapon. He sprinted noiselessly across the room, removed thechair from under the door handle and with precaution unlocked and unboltedthe door. He stepped out into the corridor. There was a faint sound in the
  • hall below. Blore ran noiselessly in his stockinged feet to the head of thestairs.At that moment he realized why it was he had heard all these sounds soclearly. The wind had died down completely and the sky must have cleared.There was faint moonlight coming in through the landing window and itilluminated the hall below. Blore had an instantaneous glimpse of a figurejust passing out through the front door.In the act of running down the stairs in pursuit, he paused.Once again, he had nearly made a fool of himself! This was a trap, perhaps,to lure him out of the house!But what the other man didnt realize was that he had made a mistake, haddelivered himself neatly into Blores hands.For, of the three tenanted rooms upstairs, one must now be empty. All thathad to be done was to ascertain which!Blore went swiftly back along the corridor.He paused first at Dr. Armstrongs door and tapped. There was no answer.AND THEN THERE WERE NONEHe waited a minute, then went on to Philip Lombards room.Here the answer came at once."Whos there?""Its Blore. I dont think Armstrong is in his room. Wait a minute. " Hewent on to the door at the end of the corridor. Here he tapped again. "MissClaythorne. Miss Claythorne."Veras voice, startled, answered him.
  • "Who is it? Whats the matter?""Its all right, Miss Claythorne. Wait a minute. Ill come back."He raced back to Lombards room. The door opened as he did so. Lombardstood there. He held a candle in his left hand. He had pulled on histrousers over his pyjamas. His right hand rested in the pocket of hispyjama jacket. He said sharply:"What the hells all this?"Blore explained rapidly. Lombards eyes lit up."Armstrong-eh? So hes our pigeon!" He moved along to Armstrongs door."Sorry, Blore, but I dont take anything on trust."He rapped sharply on the panel."Armstrong-Armstrong."There was no answer.Lombard dropped to his knees and peered through the keyhole. He insertedhis little finger gingerly into the lock.He said:"Keys not in the door on the inside."Blore said:"That means he locked it on the outside and took it with him."Philip nodded:"Ordinary precaution to take. Well get him, Blore. . . . This time, wellget him! Half a second."He raced along to Veras room."Vera.""Yes."
  • "Were hunting Armstrong. Hes out of his room. Whatever you do, dont openyour door. Understand?""Yes, I understand.""If Armstrong comes along and says that Ive been killed, or Blores beenkilled, pay no attention. See? Only open your door if both Blore and Ispeak to you. Got that?"Vera said:"Yes. Im not a complete fool."324 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERLombard said:."Good."He joined Blore. He said:"And now-after him! The hunts up!"Blore said:"Wed better be careful. Hes got a revolver, remember."Philip Lombard racing down the stairs chuckled.He said:"Thats where youre wrong." He undid the front door, remarking: "Latchpushed back-so that he could get in again easily."He went on:"Ive got that revolver!" He took it half out of his pocket as he spoke."Found it put back in my drawer to-night."Blore stopped dead on the doorstep. His face changed. Philip Lombard sawit. He said impatiently:"Dont be a damned fool, Blore! Im not going to shoot you! Go back and
  • barricade yourself in if you like! Im off after Armstrong."He started off into the moonlight. Blore, after a minutes hesitation,followed him.He thought to himself:"I suppose Im asking for it. But after all-"After all he had tackled criminals armed with revolvers before now.Whatever else he lacked, Blore did not lack courage. Show him the dangerand he would tackle it pluckily. He was not afraid of danger in the open,only of danger undefined and tinged with the supernatural.6Vera, left to wait results, got up and dressed.She glanced over once or twice at the door. It was a good solid door. Itwas both bolted and locked and had an oak chair wedged under the handle.It could not be broken open by force. Certainly not by Dr. Armstrong. He wasnot a physically powerful man.If she were Armstrong intent on murder, it was cunning that she wouldemploy, not force.Slie amused herself by reflecting on the means he might employ.He might, as Philip had suggested, announce that one of the otherAND THEN THERE WERE NONEtwo men was dead. Or he might possibly pretend to be mortally wounded
  • himself, might drag himself groaning to her door.There were other possibilities. He might inform her that the house was onfire. More, he might actually set the house on fire. . . . Yes, that wouldbe a possibility. Lure the other two men out of the house, then, havingpreviously laid a trail of petrol, he might set fight to it. And she, likean idiot, would remain barricaded in her room until it was too late.She crossed over to the window. Not too bad. At a pinch one could escapethat way. It would mean a drop-but there was a handy flower-bed.She sat down and picking up her diary began to write in it in a clearflowing hand.One must pass the time.Suddenly she stiffened to attention. She had heard a sound. It was, shethought, a sound like breaking glass. And it came from somewheredownstairs. She listened hard, but the sound was not repeated.She heard, or thought she heard, stealthy sounds of footsteps, the creakof stairs, the rustle of garments-but there was nothing definite and sheconcluded, as Blore had done earlier, that such sounds Q their origin inher own imagination.But presently she heard sounds of a more concrete nature. People movingabout downstairs-the murmur of voices. Then the very decided sound of someone mounting the stairs-doors opening and shutting-feet going up to theattic overhead. More noises from there.Finally the steps came along the passage. Lombards voice said:"Vera? You all right?""Yes. Whats happened?"Blores voice said:
  • "Will you let us in?"Vera went to the door. She removed the chair, unlocked the door and slidback the bolt. She opened the door. The two men were breathing hard, theirfeet and the bottom of their trousers were soaking wet.She said again:"Whats happened?"Lombard said:"Arnutrongs disappeared.MASTERPIECES OF MURDER7Vera cried: "What?" Lombard said: "Vanished clean off the island." Bloreconcurred: "Vanished-thats the word! Like some damned conjuring trick." Verasaid impatiently: "Nonsense! Hes hiding somewhere!" Blore said: "No, heisnt! I tell you, theres nowhere to hide on this island. It s as bare asyour hand! Theres moonlight outside. As clear as day it is. And hes notto be found." Vera said: "He doubled back into the house." Blore said: "Wethought of that. Weve searched the house too. You must have heard us. Hesnot here, I tell you. Hes gone-clean vanished, vamoosed. . . ." Vera saidincredulously: "I dont believe it." Lombard said: "Its true, my dear." Hepaused and then said: "Theres one other little fact. A pane in the dining-room window has been smashed-and there are only three little Indian boys onthe table."
  • CHAPTER 15THREE PEOPLE sat eating breakfast in the kitchen.Outside, the sun shone. It was a lovely day. The storm was a thing of thepast.And with the change in the weather, a change had come in the mood of theprisoners on the island.AIifAND THEN THERE WERE NONE327They felt now like people just awakening from a nightmare. There wasdanger, yes, but it was danger in daylight. That paralyzing atmosphere offear that had wrapped them round like a blanket yesterday while the windhowled outside was gone.Lombard said:"Well try heliographing to-day with a mirror from the highest point of theisland. Some bright lad wandering on the cliff win recognize S 0 S when hesees it, I hope. In the evening we could try a bonfire-only there isntmuch wood-and anyway they might just think it was song and dance andmerriment." Vera said:
  • "Surely some one can read Morse. And then theyll come to take us off. Longbefore this evening."Lombard said:"The weathers cleared all right, but the sea hasnt gone down yet.Terrific swell on! They wont be able to get a boat near the island beforeto-morrow." Vera cried:"Another night in this place!"Lombard shrugged his shoulders."May as well face it! Twenty-four hours will do it, I think. If we can lastout that, well be all right."Blore cleared his throat. He said:"Wed better come to a clear understanding. Whats happened to Armstrong?"Lombard said:"Well, weve got one piece of evidence. Only three little Indian boys lefton the dinner-table. It looks as though Armstrong had got his quietus."Vera said:"Then why havent you found his dead body?"Blore said:"Exactly."Lombard shook his head. He said:"Its damned odd-no getting over it."Blore said doubtfully:"It might have been thrown into the sea."Lombard said sharply:"By whom? You? Me? You saw him go out of the front door. You come along and
  • find me in my room. We go out and search together. When the devil had Itime to kill him and carry his body round the island?"328 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERBlore said:"I dont know. But I do know one thing."Lombard said:"Whats that?"Blore said:"The revolver. It was your revolver. Its in your possession now, Theresnothing to show that it hasnt been in your possession an along.""Come now, Blore, we were all searched.""Yes, youd hidden it away before that happened. Afterwards you just tookit back again.""My good blockhead, I swear to you that it was put back in my drawer.Greatest surprise I ever had in my life when I found it there."Blore said:"You ask us to believe a thing like that! Why the devil should Armstrong,or any one else for that matter, put it back?"Lombard raised his shoulders hopelessly."I havent the least idea. Its just crazy. The last thing one wouldexpect. There seems no point in it."Blore agreed."No, there isnt. You might have thought of a better story.""Rather proof that Im telling the truth, isnt it?""I dont look at it that way."
  • Philip said:"You wouldnt."Blore said:"Look here, Mr. Lombard, if youre an honest man, as you pretend-" Philipmurmured:"When did I lay claims to being an honest man? No, indeed, I never saidthat." Blore went on stolidly:"If youre speaking the truth-theres only one thing to be done. As longas you have that revolver, Miss Claythorne and I are at your mercy. Theonly fair thing is to put that revolver with the other things that arelocked up-and you and I will hold the two keys still."Philip Lombard lit a cigarette.As he puffed smoke, he said:"Dont be an ass."AND THEN THERE WERE NONEIi"No, I wont. That revolvers mine. I need it to defend myself-and Imgoing to keep it."Blore said:"In that case were bound to come to one conclusion."
  • "That Im U. N. Owen? Think what you damned well please. But Ill ask you,if thats so, why I didnt pot you with the revolver last night? I couldhave, about twenty times over."Blore shook his head.He said:"I dont know-and thats a fact. You must have had some reason."Vera had taken no part in the discussion. She stirred now and said: "Ithink youre both behaving like a pair of idiots."Lombard looked at her."Whats this?"Vera said:"Youve forgotten the nursery rhyme. Dont you see theres a clue there?"She recited in a meaning voice:"Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one andthen there were three."She went on:"A red herring-thats the vital clue. Arnutrongs not dead. He took awaythe china Indian to make you think he was. You may say what you like-Armstrongs on the island still. His disappearance is just a red herringacross the track. Lombard sat down again.He said:"You know, you may be right."Blore said:"Yes, but if so, where is he? Weve searched the place. Outside and
  • inside." Vera said scornfully:"We all searched for the revolver, didnt we, and couldnt find it? But itwas somewhere all the time!"Lombard murmured:"neres a slight difference in size, my dear, between a man and arevolver." Vera said:"I dont care-Im sure Im right."330 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Rather giving himself away, wasnt it? Actually mentioning a red herringin the verse. He could have written it, up a bit different."Vera cried:"But dont you see, hes mad? Its all mad! The whole thing of going by therhyme is mad! Dressing up the judge, killing Rogers when he was choppingsticks-drugging Mrs. Rogers so that she overslept herself-arranging for abumblebee when Miss Brent died! Its like some horrible child playing a game.Its all got to fit in."Blore said:"Yes, youre right." He thought a minute. "At any rate theres no Zoo onthe island. Hell have a bit of trouble getting over that."Vera cried:"Dont you see? Were the Zoo . . . . Last night, we were hardly human anymore. Were the Zoo . . . ...
  • 2They spent the morning on the cliffs, taking it in turns to flash a mirrorat the mainland.There were no signs that any one saw them. No answering signals. The daywas fine, with a slight haze. Below the sea heaved in a gigantic swell.There were no boats out.They had made another abortive search of the island. There was no trace ofthe missing physician.Vera looked up at the house from where they were standing.She said, her breath coming with a slight catch in it:"One feels safer here, out in the open. . . . Dont lets go back into thehouse again."Lombard said:"Not a bad idea. Were pretty safe here, no one can get at us without ourseeing him a long time beforehand."Vera said:"Well stay here."Blore said:"Have to pass the night somewhere. Well have to go back to the housethen." Vera shuddered."I cant bear it. I cant go through another night!"Philip said:"Youll be safe enough-locked in your room."
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONEVera murmured: "I suppose so."She stretched out her hands, murmuring:"Its lovely-to feel the sun again.She thought:"How odd . . . . Im almost happy. And yet I suppose Im actually in danger. . . . Somehow-now-nothing seems to matternot in daylight . . . . I feel full of power-I feel that I cant die. Blorewas looking at his wrist-watch. He said:"Its two oclock. What about lunch?"Vera said obstinately:"Im not going back to the house. Im going to stay here-in the open.""Oh, come now, Miss Claythorne. Got to keep your strength up, you know."Vera said:"If I even see a tinned tongue, I shall be sick! I dont want any food.People go days on end with nothing sometimes when theyre on a diet."Blore said:"Well, I need my meals regular. What about you, Mr. Lombard?"Philip said:"You know, I dont relish the idea of tinned tongue particularly. Ill stayhere with Miss Claythorne."Blore hesitated. Vera said:"I shall be quite all right. I dont think hell shoot me as soon as your
  • back is turned if thats what youre afraid of." Blore said: "Its all right if you say so. But we agreed we ought not to separate. "Philip said: "Youre the one who wants to go into the lions den. Ill come with you ifyou like?" "No, you wont," said Blore. "Youll stay here." Philip laughed. "So youre still afraid of me? Why, I could shoot you both this very minuteif I liked." Blore said: "Yes, but that wouldnt be according to plan. Its one at a time, and itsgot to be done in a certain way." "Well," said Philip, "you seem to know all about it." "Of course," said Blore, "its a bit jumpy going up to the house alone-" . .. )I . .. 332 MASTERPIECES OF MURDER Philip said softly: "And therefore, will I tend you my revolver? Answer, no, I will not! Notquite so simple as that, thank you." Blore shrugged his shoulders and began to make his way up the steep slopeto the house.
  • Lombard said softly:"Feeding time at the Zoo! The animals are very regular in their habits!"Vera said anxiously:"Isnt it very risky, what hes doing?""In the sense you mean-no, I dont think it is! Armstrongs not armed, youknow, and anyway Blore is twice a match for him in physique and hes verymuch on his guard. And anyway its a sheer impossibility that Armstrong canbe in the house. I know hes not there.""But-what other solution is there?"Philip said softly:"Theres Blore.""Oh-do you really think-T"Listen, my girl. You heard Blores story. Youve got to admit that if itstrue, I cant possibly have had anything to do with Armstrongsdisappearance. His story clears me. But it doesnt clear him. Weve onlyhis word for it that he heard footsteps and saw a man going downstairs andout at the front door. The whole thing may be a lie. He may have got ridof Armstrong a couple of hours before that.""How?"Lombard shrugged his shoulders."That we dont know. But if you ask me, weve only one danger to fear-andthat danger is Blore! What do we know about the man? Less than nothing! Allthis ex-policernan story may be bunkum! He may be anybody-a madmillionaire-a crazy business man-an escaped inmate of Broadmoor. Onethings certain. He could have done every one of these crimes."
  • Vera had gone rather white. She said in a slightly breathless voice: "Andsupposing he gets-us?"Lombard said softly, patting the revolver in his pocket:"Im going to take very good care he doesnt."Then he looked at her curiously."Touching faith in me, havent you, Vera? Quite sure I wouldnt shoot you?"Vera said:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"One has got to trust some one. . . . As a matter of fact I think yourewrong about Blore. I still think its Armstrong." She turned to himsuddenly. "Dont you feel-all the time-that theres some one. Some onewatching and waiting?" Lombard said slowly: "Thats just nerves." Vera saideagerly: "Then you have felt it?" She shivered. She bent a little closer."Tell me-you dont think-" She broke off, went on: "I read a story once-about two judges that came to a small American townfrom the Supreme Court.They administered justice-Absolute Justice. Because-they didnt come fromthis world at all. Lombard raised his eyebrows. He said: "Heavenlyvisitants, ch? No, I dont believe in the supernatural. This business ishuman enough." Vera said in a low voice: "Sometimes-Im not sure . . . ...Lombard looked at her. He said: "Thats conscience. . . ." After a momentssilence he said very quietly: "So you did drown that kid after all?" Verasaid vehemently: "I didnt! I didnt! Youve no right to say that!" Helaughed easily. "Oh, yes, you did, my good girl! I dont know why. Cantimagine. There was a man in it probably. Was that it?" A sudden feeling of
  • lassitude, of intense weariness, spread over Veras limbs. She said in adull voice: "Yes-there was a man in it. Lombard said softly: "Thanks.Thats what I wanted to know. Vera sat up suddenly. She exclaimed: "Whatwas that? It wasnt an earthquake? Lombard said: "No, no. Queer, though-athud shook the ground. And I thought -did you hear a sort of cry? I did."They stared up at the house. Lombard said: "It came from there. Wed bettergo up and see." "No, no, Im not going." 1~. ..334Philip grasped her shoulder.He said, and his voice was urgent and grim:"This settles it. Armstrong is in hiding somewhere in that house. Im goingto get him."But Vera clung to him. She cried:"Dont be a fool. Its us now! Were next! He wants us to look for him!Hes counting on it!"Philip stopped. He said thoughtfully:"Theres something in that."Vera cried:"At any rate, you do admit now I was right."He nodded."Yes-you win! Its Armstrong all right. But where the devil did he hide
  • himself? We went over the place with a fine-tooth comb."Vera said urgently:"If you didnt find him last night, you wont find him now. . . .MASTERPIECES OF MURDER"Please yourself. I am."Vera said desperately:"All right. Ill come with you."They walked up the slope to the house. The terrace was peaceful andinnocuous-looking in the sunshine. They hesitated there a minute, theninstead of entering by the front door, they made a cautious circuit of thehouse. They found Blore. He was spread-eagled on the stone terrace on theeast side, his head crushed and mangled by a great block of white marble.Philip looked up. He said:"Whose is that window just above?"Vera said in a low shuddering voice:"Its mine-and thats the clock from my mantelpiece member now. It was-shaped like a bear."She repeated and her voice shook and quavered:"It was shaped like a bear. . . ."3Thats common-sense."Lombard said reluctantly:
  • "Yes, but-". . . I re-AND THEN THERE WERE NONE335"He must have prepared a secret place beforehand-naturally-of course itsjust what he would do. You know, like a Priests Hole in old manor houses.":,This isnt an old house of that kind." He could have had one made."Philip Lombard shook his head. He said: "We measured the place-that firstmorning. Ill swear theres no space unaccounted for." Vera said: "Theremust be. Lombard said: "Id like to see-" Vera cried: "Yes, youd like tosee! And he knows that! Hes in there-waiting for you." Lombard said, halfbringing out the revolver from his pocket: :,Ive got this, you know." Yousaid Blore was all right-that he was more than a match for Armstrong. Sohe was physically, and he was on the lookout too. But what you dont seemto realize is that Armstrong is mad! And a madman has all the advantageson his side. Hes twice as cunning as any one sane can be." Lombard putback the revolver in his pocket. He said: "Come on, then."4Lombard said at last: "What are we going to do when night comes?" Veradidnt answer. He went on accusingly: "You havent thought of that?" She
  • said helplessly: "What can we do? Oh, my God, Im frightened. Philip Lombardsaid thoughtfully: "Its fine weather. There will be a moon. We must finda place-up by the top cliffs perhaps. We can sit there and wait for morning.We mustnt go to sleep. . . . We must watch the whole time. And if any onecomes up towards us, I shall shoot!"MASTERPIECES OF MURDERHe paused:"Youll be cold, perhaps, in that thin dress?"Vera said with a raucous laugh:"Cold? I should be colder if I were dead!"Philip Lombard said quietly:"Yes, thats true.Vera moved restlessly.She said:"I shall go mad if I sit here any longer. Lets move about.""All right."They paced slowly up and down, along the line of the rocks overlooking thesea. The sun was dropping towards the west. The light was golden and mellow.It enveloped them in a golden glow.Vera said,with a sudden nervous little giggle:"Pity we cant have a bathe. . . ."Philip was looking down towards the sea. He said abruptly:"Whats that, there? You see-by that big rock? No-a little further to theright."Vera stared. She said:
  • "It looks like somebodys clothes!""A bather, eh?" Lombard laughed. "Queer. I suppose its only seaweed."Vera said:"Lets go and look.""It is clothes," said Lombard as they drew nearer. "A bundle of them.Thats a boot. Come on, lets scramble along here."They scrambled over the rocks.Vera stopped suddenly. She said:"Its not clothes-its a man. . .The man was wedged between two rocks, flung there by the tide earlier inthe day.Lombard and Vera reached it in a last scramble. They bent down.A purple discoloured face-a hideous drowned face. . . .Lombard said:"My God! its Armstrong.1))ICHAPTER 16AEONS PASSED . . . worlds spun and whirled. . . . Time was mo-tionless. . . . It stood still-it passed through a thousand ages.No, it was only a minute or so. . . .
  • Two people were standing looking down on a dead man. . . .Slowly, very slowly, Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard lifted their headsand looked into each others eyes2Lombard laughed. He said: "So thats it, is it, Vera?" Vera said: "Theresno one on the island-no one at all-except us two. . . ." Her voice was awhisper-nothing more. Lombard said: "Precisely. So we know where we are,dont we?" Vera said: "How was it worked-that trick with the marble bear?"He shrugged his shoulders. "A conjuring trick, my dear-a very good one. .. Their eyes met again. Vera thought:"Why did I never see his face properly before. A wolf-thats what it is-awolfs face. . . . Those horrible teeth. . - ." Lombard said, and his voicewas a snarl-dangerous-menacing: "This is the end, you understand. Weve cometo the truth now. And its the end. . . ." Vera said quietly: "I understand.. . ." She stared out to sea. General Macartbur had stared out to seawhen-only yesterday? Or was it the day before? He too had said, "This is the end.. . ." He had said it with acceptance-almost with welcome.338 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERBut to Vera the words-the thought-brought rebellion. No, it should not bethe end. She looked down at the dead man. She said: "Poor Dr. Armstrong.Lombard sneered. He said: "Whats this? Womanly pity?" Vera said: "Why not?Havent you any pity?" He said: "Ive no pity for you. Dont expect it!"
  • Vera looked down again at the body. She said: "We must move him. Carry himup to the house." "To join the other victims, I suppose? All neat and tidy.As far as Im concerned he can stay where he is." Vera said: "At any rate,lets get him out of reach of the sea." Lombard laughed. He said: "If youlike." He bent-tugging at the body. Vera leaned against him, helping him.She pulled and tugged with all her might. Lombard panted: "Not such an easyjob." They managed it, however, drawing the body clear of high water mark.Lombard said as he straightened up: "Satisfied?" Vera said: "Quite.)) Hertone warned him. He spun round. Even as he clapped his hand to his pockethe knew that he would find it empty. She had moved a yard or two away andwas facing him, revolver in hand. Lombard said: "So thats the reason foryour womanly solicitude! You wanted to pick my pocket." She nodded. She heldit steadily and unwaveringly. Death was very near to Philip Lombard now. Ithad never, he knew, been nearer. Nevertheless he was not beaten yet. He saidauthoritatively:AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"Give that revolver to me."Veralaughed.Lombard said:"Come on, hand it over."His quick brain was working. Which way-which method-talk her over-lull herinto security-or a swift dash-All his life Lombard had taken the risky way. He took it now.
  • He spoke slowly, argumentatively."Now look here, my dear girl, you just listen-"And then he sprang. Quick as a panther-as any other feline creature. . .Automatically Vera pressed the triggerLombards leaping body stayed poised in mid-spring, then crashed heavilyto the ground.Vera came warily forward, the revolver ready in her hand.But there was no need of caution.Philip Lombard was dead-shot through the heart.3Relief possessed Vera-enormous exquisite relief.At last it was over.There was no more fear-no more steeling of her nerves. . . .She was alone on the island . . . .Alone with nine dead bodies . . . .But what did that matter? She was alive. . . .She sat there-exquisitely happy-exquisitely at peace.No more fear. . . .4The sun was setting when Vera moved at last. Sheer reaction had kept herimmobile. There had been no room in her for anything but the glorious senseof safety.
  • She realized now that she was hungry and sleepy. Principally sleepy. Shewanted to throw herself on her bed and sleep and sleep and sleep. . . .To-morrow, perhaps, they would come and rescue her-but she340MASTERPIECES OF MURDERdidnt really mind. She didnt mind staying here. Not now that she wasalone. . . .Oh! blessed, blessed peace.She got to her feet and glanced up at the house.Nothing to be afraid of any longer! No terrors waiting for her! Just -anordinary well-built modern house. And yet, a little earlier in the day, shehad not been able to look at it without shivering. . . .Fear-what a strange thing fear was. . . .Well, it was over now. She had conquered-had triumphed over the most deadlyperil. By her own quick-wittedness and adroitness she had turned the tableson her would-be destroyer.She began to walk up towards the house.The sun was setting, the sky to the west was streaked with red and orange.It was beautiful and peaceful.Vera thought:"The whole thing might be a dreamHow tired she was-terribly tired. Her limbs ached, her eyelids weredrooping. Not to be afraid any more.
  • sleep . . . sleep. . . .To sleep safely since she was alone on the island. One little Indian boyleft all alone.She smiled to herself.She went in at the front door. The house, too, felt strangely peaceful.Vera thought:"Ordinarily one wouldnt care to sleep where theres a dead body inpractically every bedroom!"Should she go to the kitchen and get herself something to eat?She hesitated a moment, then decided against it. She was really too tired... .She paused by the dining-room door. There were still three little chinafigures in the middle of the table.Vera laughed.She said:"Youre behind the times, my dears."She picked up two of them and tossed them out through the window. She heardthem crash on the stone of the terrace.The third little figure she picked up and held in her hand.She said:"You can come with me. Weve won, my dear! Weve won!"The hall was dim in the dying light.. To sleep. Sleep . .AND THEN THERE WERE NONE
  • Vera, the little Indian clasped in her hand, began to mount the stairs.Slowly, because her legs were suddenly very tired."One little Indian boy left all alone." How did it end? Oh, yes! "He gotmarried and then there were none."Married. . . . Funny, how she suddenly got the feeling again that Hugo wasin the house. . . .Very strong. Yes, Hugo was upstairs waiting for her.Vera said to herself:"Dont be a fool. Youre so tired that youre imagining the most fantasticthings. . . ."Slowly up the stairs.At the top of them something fell from her hand, making hardly any noiseon the soft pile carpet. She did not notice that she had dropped therevolver. She was only conscious of clasping a little china figure.How very quiet the house was. And yet-it didnt seem like an empty house.. . . Hugo, upstairs, waiting for her. . . ."One little Indian boy left all alone." What was the last line again?Something about being married-or was it something else?She had come now to the door of her room. Hugo was waiting for her inside-she was quite sure of it.She opened the door . . . .She gave a gasp . . . .What was that-hanging from the hook in the ceiling? A rope with a noose allready? And a chair to stand upon-a chair that could be kicked away. . . .
  • That was what Hugo wanted.And of course that was the last line of the rhyme."He went and hanged himself and then there were none.The little china figure fell from her hand. It rolled unheeded and brokeagainst the fender.Like an automaton Vera moved forward. This was the end-here where the coldwet hand (Cyrils hand, of course) had touched her throat. . . ."You can go to the rock, Cyril.That was what murder was-as easy as that!But afterwards you went on remembering. . . .She climbed up on the chair, her eyes staring in front of her like asleepwalkers. . . . She adjusted the noose round her neck.Hugo was there to see she did what she had to do.She kicked away the chair. . . .SIR THOMAs LEGGE, Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, said irritably:"But the whole things incredible!"Inspector Maine said respectfully:"I know, sir."The A.C. went on:"Ten people dead on an island and not a living soul on it. It doesnt makesense!"Inspector Maine said stolidly:"Nevertheless, it happened, sir."Sir Thomas Legge said:"Damn it all, Maine, somebody must have killedem.""Thats just our problem, sir."
  • "Nothing helpful in the doctors report?""No, sir. Wargrave and Lombard were shot, the first through the head, thesecond through the heart. Miss Brent and Marston died of Cyanide poisoning.Mrs. Rogers died of an overdose of Chloral. Rogers head was split open.Blores head was crushed in. Armstrong died of drowning. Macarthurs skullwas fractured by a blow on the back of the head and Vera Claythome washanged."The A.C. winced. He said:"Nasty business-all of it."He considered for a minute or two. He said irritably:"Do you mean to say that you havent been able to get anything helpful outof the Sticklehaven people. Dash it, they must know something."Inspector Maine shrugged his shoulders."Theyre ordinary decent seafaring folk. They know that the island wasbought by a man called Owen-and thats about all they do know."EPILOGUEAND THEN THERE WERE NONE"Who provisioned the island and made all the necessary arrangements?""Man called Morris. Isaac Morris.""And what does he say about it all?""He cant say anything, sir, hes dead."The A.C. frowned.
  • "Do we know anything about this Morris?""Oh, yes, sir, we know about him. He wasnt a very savoury gentleman, Mr.Morris. He was implicated in that share-pushing fraud of Bennitos threeyears ago-were sure of that though we cant prove it. And he was mixed upin the dope business. And again we cant prove it. He was a very carefulman, Morris.""And he was behind this island business?""Yes, sir, he put through the sale-though he made it clear that he wasbuying Indian Island for a third party, unnamed.""Surely theres something to be found out on the financial angle, there?"Inspector Maine smiled."Not if you knew Morris! He can wangle figures until the best charteredaccountant in the country wouldnt know if he was on his head or his heels!Weve had a taste of that in the Bermito business. No, he covered hisemployers tracks all right."The other man sighed. Inspector Maine went on:"It was Morris who made all the arrangements down at Sticklehaven.Represented himself as acting for Mr. Owen. And it was he who explainedto the people down there that there was some experiment on-some bet aboutliving on a desert island for a week-and that no notice was to be takenof any appeal for help from out there."Sir Thomas Legge stirred uneasily. He said:"And youre telling me that those people didnt smell a rat? Not eventhen?" Maine shrugged his shoulders. He said:"Youre forgetting, sir, that Indian Island previously belonged to youngElmer Robson, the American. He had the most extraordinary parties down
  • there. Ive no doubt the local peoples eyes fairly popped out over them.But they got used to it and theyd begun to feel that anything to do withIndian Island would necessarily be incredible. Its natural, that, sir,when you come to think of it."The Assistant Commissioner admitted gloomily that he supposed itwas.Maine said:"Fred Narracott-thats the man who took the party out there-did344MASTERPIECES OF MURDERsay one thing that was illuminating. He said he was surprised to see whatsort of people these were. Not at all like Mr. Robsons parfies. I thinkit was the fact that they were all so normal and so quiet that made himoverride Morris orders and take out a boat to the island after hed heardabout the S 0 S signals." "When did he and the other men go?""The signals were seen by a party of boy scouts on the morning of the I Ith. There was no possibility of getting out there that day. The men gotthere on the afternoon of the 12th at the first moment possible to run aboat ashore there. Theyre all quite positive that nobody could have leftthe island before they got there. There was a big sea on after the storm.""Couldnt some one have swum ashore?""Its over a mile to the coast and there were heavy seas and big breakers
  • inshore. And there were a lot of people, boy scouts and others on the cliffslooking out towards the island and watching."The A.C. sighed. He said:"What about that gramophone record you found in the house? Couldnt you gethold of anything there that might help?"Inspector Maine said:"Ive been into that. It was supplied by a firm that do a lot of theatricalstuff and film effects. It was sent to U. N. Owen, Esq., c/o Isaac Morris,and was understood to be required for the amateur performance of a hither-to unacted play. The typescript of it was returned with the record."Legge said:"And what about the subject matter, eh?"Inspector Maine said gravely:"Im coming to that, sir."He cleared his throat."Ive investigated those accusations as thoroughly as I can."Starting with the Rogerses; who were the first to arrive on the island.They were in service with a Miss Brady who died suddenly. Cant getanything definite out of the doctor who attended her. He says theycertainly didnt poison her, or anything like that, but his personal beliefis that there was some funny business-that she died as the result ofneglect on their part. Says its the sort of thing thats quite impossibleto prove."Then there is Mr. Justice Wargrave. Thats O.K. He was the judge whosentenced Seton."By the way, Scion was guilty-unmistakably guilty. Evidence turned uD later
  • after he was hanged which nroved thnt hPunnrl n-AND THEN THERE WERE NONE345shadow of doubt. But there was a good deal of comment at the timenine peopleout of ten thought Seton was innocent and that the judges summing up hadbeen vindictive."The Claythome girl, I find, was governess in a family where a deathoccurred by drowning. However, she doesnt seem to have had anything to dowith it, and as a matter of fact she behaved very well, swam out to therescue and was actually carried out to sea and only just rescued in time." "Go on," said the A.C. with a sigh.Maine took a deep breath."Dr. Armstrong now. Well-known man. Had a consulting room in Harley Street.Absolutely straight and aboveboard in his profession. Havent been able totrace any record of an illegal operation or anything of that kind. Itstrue that there was a woman called Clees who was operated on by him wayback in 1925 at Leithmore, when he was attached to the hospital there.Peritonitis and she died on the operating table. Maybe he wasnt veryskilful over the op-after all he hadnt much experience-but after allclumsiness isnt a criminal offence. There was certainly no motive."Then theres Miss Emily Brent. Girl, Beatrice Taylor, was in service withher. Got pregnant, was turned out by her mistress and went and drowned
  • herself. Not a nice business-but again not criminal.""That," said the A.C., "seems to be the point. U. N. Owen dealt with casesthat the law couldnt touch."Maine went stolidly on with his list."Young Marston was a fairly reckless car driver-had his licence endorsedtwice and he ought to have been prohibited from driving, in my opinion.Thats all there is to him. The two names John and Lucy Combes were thoseof two kids he knocked down and killed near Cambridge. Some friends of hisgave evidence for him and he was let off with a fine."Cant find anything definite about General Macarthur. Fine record-warservice-all the rest of it. Arthur Richmond was serving under him in Franceand was killed in action. No friction of any kind between him and theGeneral. They were close friends as a matter of fact. There were someblunders made about that time-commanding officers sacrificed menunnecessarily-possibly this was a blunder of that kind.""Possibly," said the A.C."Now, Philip Lombard. Lombard has been mixed up in some very mirimw chnwenhrnnd 14,nc en;Ipti vprv npnr thp Inw nnrp nr twire.346 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERGot a reputation for daring and for not being over-scrupulous. Sort offellow who might do several murders in some quiet out-of-the-way spot."Then we come to Blore." Maine hesitated. "He of course was one of ourlot." The other man stirred."Blore," said the Assistant Commissioner forcibly, "was a bad hat!" "Youthink so, Sir?"
  • The A.C. said:"I always thought so. But he was clever enough to get away with it. Itsmy opinion that he committed black perjury in the Landor case. I wasnthappy about it at the time. But I couldnt find anything. I put Harris ontoit and he couldnt find anything but Im still of the opinion that therewas something to find if wed known how to set about it. The man wasntstraight."There was a pause, then Sir Thomas Legge said:"And Isaac Morris is dead, you say? When did he die?""I thought youd soon come to that, Sir. Isaac Morris died on the night ofAugust 8th. Took an overdose of sleeping stuff-one of the barbiturates, Iunderstand. There wasnt anything to show whether it was accident orsuicide." Legge said slowly:"Care to know what I think, Maine?""Perhaps I can guess, Sir."Legge said heavily:"That death of Morrisis a damned sight too opportune!"Inspector Maine nodded. He said:"I thought youd say that, sir."The Assistant Commissioner brought down his fist with a bang on the table.He cried out:"The whole things fantastic-impossible. Ten people killed on a bare rockof an island-and we dont know who did it, or why, or how."Maine coughed. He said:"Well, its not quite like that, sir. We do know why, more or less. Some
  • fanatic with a bee in his bonnet about justice. He was out to get peoplewho were beyond the reach of the law. He picked ten people-whether theywere really guilty or not doesnt matter-"The Commissioner stirred. He said sharply:"Doesnt it? It seems to me-"AND THEN THERE VVERE NONE347He stopped. Inspector Maine waited respectfully. With a sigh Legge shookhis head."Carry on," he said. "Just for a minute I felt Id got somewhere. Got, asit were, the clue to the thing. Its gone now. Go ahead with what you weresaying." Maine went on:"There were ten people to be-executed, lets say. They were executed. U.N. Oven accomplished his task. And somehow or other he spirited himself offthat island into thin air."The A.C. said:"First-class vanishing trick. But you know, Maine, there must be anexplanation." Maine said:"Youre thinking, sir, that if the man wasnt on the island, he couldnthave left the island, and according to the account of the interestedparties he never was on the island. Well, then the only explanationpossible is that he was actually one of the ten."The A.C. nodded.
  • Maine said earnestly:"We thought of that, sir. We went into it. Now, to begin with, were notquite in the dark as to what happened on Indian Island. Vera Claythornekept a diary, so did Emily Brent. Old Wargrave made some notes-dry legalcryptic stuff, but quite clear. And Blore made notes too. All thoseaccounts tally. The deaths occurred in this order: Marston, Mrs. Rogers,Macarthur, Rogers, Miss Brent, War- grave. After his death Vera Claythornesdiary states that Armstrong left the house in the night and that Blore andLombard had gone after him. Blore has one more entry in his notebook. Justtwo words: Armstrong disappeared. "Now, Sir, it seemed to me, takingeverything into account, that we might find here a perfectly good solution.Armstrong was drowned, you remember. Granting that Armstrong was mad, whatwas to prevent him having killed off all the others and then committedsuicide by throwing himself over the cliff, or perhaps while trying to swimto the mainland?"That was a good solution-but it wont do. No, sir, it wont do. First ofall theres the police surgeons evidence. He got to the island early onthe morning of August 13th. He couldnt say much to help us. All he couldsay was that all the people had been dead at least thirty-six hours andprobably a good deal longer. But he was fairly definite about Armstrong.Said he must have been from eight to ten hours in the water before s bodvwas washed uD That works out at 348MASTERPIECES OF MURDER
  • this, that Armstrong must have gone into the sea sometime during the nightof the 10th-llth-and Ill explain why. We found the point where the body waswashed up-it had been wedged between two rocks and there were bits of cloth,hair, etc., on them. It must have been deposited there at high water on the11 th-thats to say round about 11 oclock A.M. After that, the stormsubsided, and succeeding high water marks are considerably lower."You might say, I suppose, that Armstrong managed to polish off the otherthree before he went into the sea that night. But theres another point andone you cant get over. Armstrongs body had been dragged above high watermark. We found it well above the reach of any tide. And it was laid outstraight on the ground-all neat and tidy."So that settles one point definitely. Some one was alive on the islandafter Armstrong was dead."He paused and then went on."And that leaves-just what exactly? Heres the position early on themorning of the 11th. Armstrong has disappeared (drowned). That leaves usthree people. Lombard, Blore and Vera Claythorne. Lombard was shot. Hisbody was down by the sea-near Armstrongs. Vera Claythorne was found hangedin her own bedroom. Blores body was on the terrace. His head was crushedin by a heavy marble clock that it seems reasonable to suppose fell on himfrom the window above." The A.C. said sharply:"Whose window?""Vera Claythornes. Now, Sir, lets take each of these cases separately.First Philip Lombard. Lets say he pushed over that lump of marble ontoBlore-then he doped Vera Claythorne and strung her up. Lastly, he went down
  • to the seashore and shot himself."But if so, who took away the revolver from him? For that revolver wasfound up in the house just inside the door at the top of the stairs-Wargraves room." The A.C. said:"Any fingerprints on it?""Yes, sir, Vera Claythornes."But, man alive, then-""I know what youre going to say, Sir. That it was Vera Claythorne. Thatshe shot Lombard, took the revolver back to the house, toppled the marbleblock onto Blore and then-hanged herself."And thats quite all right-up to a point. Theres a chair in her bedroomand on the seat of it there are marks of seaweed same as onAND THEN THERE WERE NONE349her shoes. Looks as though she stood on the chair, adjusted the rope roundher neck and kicked away the chair."But that chair wasnt found kicked over. It was, like all the otherchairs, neatly put back against the wall. That was done after VeraClaythornes death-by some one else."That leaves us with Blore and if you tell me that after shooting Lombardand inducing Vera Claythorne. to hang herself he then went out and pulleddown a whacking great block of marble on himself by tying a string to itor something like that-well, I simply dont believe you. Men dont commit
  • suicide that way-and whats more Blore wasnt that kind of man. We knewBlore-and he was not the man that youd ever accuse of a desire forabstract justice."The Assistant Commi sioner said:141 agee."Inspector Maine said:"And therefore, Sir, there must have been some one else on the island. Someone who tidied up when the whole business was over. But where was he allthe time-and where did he go to? The Sticklehaven people are absolutelycertain that no one could have left the island before the rescue boat gotthere. But in that case-" He stopped.The Assistant Commissioner said:"In that case-"He sighed. He shook his head. He leant forward."But in that case," he said, "who killed them?"AND THEN THERE WERE NONEA MANUSCRIPT DOCUMENT SENTTO SCOTLAND YARD BY THE MASTER OFTHE EMMA JANE, FISHING TRAWLERFRom MY earliest youth I realized that my nature was a mass ofcontradictions. I have, to begin with, an incurably romantic imagination.The practice of throwing a bottle into the sea with an important documentinside was one that never failed to thrill me when reading adventure stories
  • as a child. It thrills me still-and for that reason I have adopted thiscourse-writing my confession, enclosing it in a bottle, sealing the latter,and casting it into the waves. There is, I suppose, a hundred to one chancethat my confession may be found-and then (or do I flatter myself?) ahitherto unsolved murder mystery will be explained.I was born with other traits besides my romantic fancy. I have a definitesadistic delight in seeing or causing death. I remember experiments withwasps-with various garden pests. . . . From an early age I knew very stronglythe lust to kill.But side by side with this went a contradictory trait-a strong sense ofjustice. It is abhorrent to me that an innocent person or creature shouldsuffer or die by any act of mine. I have always felt strongly that rightshould prevail. It may be understood-I think a psychologist wouldunderstandthat with my mental makeup being what it was, I adopted the lawas a profession. The legal profession satisfied nearly all my instincts.Crime and its punishment has always fascinated me. I enjoy reading everykind of detective story and thriller. I have devised for my own privateamusement the most ingenious ways of carrying out a murder.When in due course I came to preside over a court of law, that other secretinstinct of mine was encouraged to develop. To see a wretched criminalsquirming in the dock, suffering the tortures of the damned, as his doomcame slowly and slowly nearer, was to me anexquisite pleasure. Mind you, I took no pleasure in seeing an innocent manthere. On at least two occasions I stopped cases where to my mind theaccused was palpably innocent, directing the jury that there was no case.
  • Thanks, however, to the fairness and efficiency of our police force, themajority of the accused persons who have come before me to be tried formurder, have been guilty. I will say here that such was the case with theman Edward Seton. His appearance and manner were misleading and he createda good impression on the jury. But not only the evidence, which was clear,though unspectacular, but my own knowledge of criminals told me without anydoubt that the man had actually committed the crime with which he wascharged, the brutal murder of an elderly woman who trusted him.I have a reputation as a hanging judge, but that is unfair. I have alwaysbeen strictly just and scrupulous in my summing up of a case.All I have done is to protect the jury against the emotional effect ofemotional appeals by some of our more emotional counsel. I have drawn theirattention to the actual evidence.For some years past I have been aware of a change within myself, alessening of control-a desire to act instead of to judge.I have wanted-let me admit it frankly-to commit a murder myself. Irecognized this as the desire of the artist to express himself! I was, orcould be, an artist in crime! My imagination, sternly checked by theexigencies of my profession, waxed secretly to colossal force.I must-I must-I must-commit a murder! And what is more, it must be noordinary murder! It must be a fantastical crime-something stupendous-outof the common! In that one respect, I have still, I think, an adolescentsimagination. I wanted something theatrical, impossible!I wanted to kill. . . . Yes, I wanted to kill.But-incongruous as it may seem to some-I was restrained and hampered by my
  • innate sense of justice. The innocent must not suffer.And then, quite suddenly, the idea came to me-started by a chance remarkuttered during casual conversation. It was a doctor to whom I was talking-some ordinary undistinguished G.P. He mentioned casually how often murdermust be committed which the law was unable to touch.And he instanced a particular case-that of an old lady, a patient of hiswho had recently died. He was, he said, himself convinced that her deathwas due to the withholding of a restorative drug by a married couple whoattended on her and who stood to benefit verv sub- 352MASTERPIECES OF MURDERstantially by her death. That sort of thing, he explained, was quiteimpossible to prove, but he was nevertheless quite sure of it in his ownmind. He added that there were many cases of a similar nature going on allthe time-cases of deliberate murder-and all quite untouchable by the law.That was the beginning of the whole thing. I suddenly saw my way clear. AndI determined to commit not one murder, but murder on a grand scale.A childish rhyme of my infancy came back into my mind-the rhyme of the tenlittle Indian boys. It had fascinated me as a child of two-the inexorablediminishment-the sense of inevitability.I began, secretly, to collect victims. . . .I will not take up space here by going into details of how this wasaccomplished. I had a certain routine line of conversation which I employed
  • with nearly every one I met-and the results I got were really surprising.During the time I was in a nursing home I collected the case of Dr.Armstrong-a violently teetotal sister who attended on me being anxious toprove to me the evils of drink by recounting to me a case many years agoin hospital when a doctor under the influence of alcohol had killed apatient on whom he was operating. A careless question as to where thesister in question had trained, etc., soon gave me the necessary data. Itracked down the doctor and the patient mentioned without difficulty. Aconversation between two old military gossips in my Club put me on the trackof General Macarthur. A man who had recently returned from the Amazon gaveme a devastating r6sum6 of the activities of one Philip Lombard. Anindignant mem sahib in Majorca recounted the tale of the Puritan EmilyBrent and her wretched servant girl. Anthony Marston I selected from alarge group of people who had committed similar offences. His completecallousness and his inability to feel any responsibility for the lives hehad taken made him, I considered, a type dangerous to the community andunfit to live. Ex-Inspector Blore came my way quite naturally, some of myprofessional brethren discussing the Landor case with freedom and vigour.I took a serious view of his offence. The police, as servants of the law,must be of a high order of integrity. For their word is perforce believedby virtue of their profession.Finally there was the case of Vera Claythorne. It was when I was crossingthe Atlantic. At a late hour one night the sole occupants of the smoking-room were myself and a good-looking young man called Hugo Hamilton.14tion 14nmiltnn wnq iinhnnnv Tn n-umae thnt nnhannine-.q he hnd
  • AND THEN THERE WERE NONE353taken a considerable quantity of drink. He was in the maudlin confidentialstage. Without much hope of any result I automatically started my routineconversational gambit. The response was startling. I can remember his wordsnow. He said: "Youre right. Murder isnt what most people think-givingsome one a dollop of arsenic-pushing them over a cliff-that sort of stuff."He leaned forward, thrusting his face into mine. He said: "Ive known amurderess-known her, I tell you. And whats more I was crazy about her. .. . God help me, sometimes I think I stillam. . . . Its Hell, I tell you-Hell- You see, she did it more or lessfor me. . . . Not that I ever dreamed. Women are fiends-absolute fiends-youwouldnt think a girl like that-a nice straight jolly girlyou wouldnt thinkshed do that, would you? That shed take a kid out to sea and let it drown-you wouldnt think a woman could do a thing like that?"I said to him:"Are you sure she did do it?"He said and in saying it he seemed suddenly to sober up:"Im quite sure. Nobody else ever thought of it. But I knew the moment Ilooked at her-when I got back-after . . . And she knew I knew . . . . Whatshe didnt realize was that I loved that kid . . . . ))
  • He didnt say any more, but it was easy enough for me to trace back thestory and reconstruct it.I needed a tenth victim. I found him in a man named Morris. He was a shadylittle creature. Amongst other things he was a dope pedlar and he wasresponsible for inducing the daughter of friends of mine to take to drugs.She committed suicide at the age of twentyone.During all this time of search my plan had been gradually maturing in mymind. It was now complete and the coping stone to it was an interview I hadwith a doctor in Harley Street. I have mentioned that I underwent anoperation. My interview in Harley Street told me that another operationwould be useless. My medical adviser wrapped up the information veryprettily, but I am accustomed to getting at the truth of a statement.I did not tell the doctor of my decision-that my death should not be a slowand protracted one as it would be in the course of nature. No, my deathshould take place in a blaze of excitement. I would live before I died.And now to the actual mechanics of the crime of Indian Island. To acouirethe island usine the man Morris to cover v tracks, was easy354 MASTERPIECES OF MURDERenough. He was an expert in that sort of thing. Tabulating the informationI had collected about my prospective victims, I was able to concoct asuitable bait for each. None of my plans miscarried. All my guests arrivedat Indian Island on the 8th of August. The party included myself.Morris was already accounted for. He suffered from indigestion. Beforeleaving London I gave him a capsule to take last thing at night which had,I said, done wonders for my own gastric juices. He accepted it
  • unhesitatingly-the man was a slight hypochondriac. I had no fear that hewould leave any compromising documents or memoranda behind. He was not thatsort of man.The order of death upon the island had been subjected by me to specialthought and care. There were, I considered, amongst my guests, varyingdegrees of guilt. Those whose guilt was the lightest should, I decided,pass out first, and not suffer the prolonged mental strain and fear thatthe more cold-blooded offenders were to suffer.Anthony Marston and Mrs. Rogers died first, the one instantaneously, theother in a peaceful sleep. Marston, I recognized, was a type born withoutthat feeling of moral responsibility which most of us have. He was amoral-pagan. Mrs. Rogers, I had no doubt, had acted very largely under theinfluence of her husband. I need not describe closely how those two mettheir deaths. The police will have been able to work that out quite easily.Potassium Cyanide is easily obtained by householders for putting downwasps. I had some in my possession and it was easy to slip it intoMarstons almost empty glass during the tense period after the gramophonerecital.I may say that I watched the faces of my guests closely during thatindictment and I had no doubt whatever, after my long court experience,that one and all were guilty.During recent bouts of pain, I had been ordered a sleeping draught -ChloralHydrate. It had been easy for me to suppress this until I had a lethalamount in my possession. When Rogers brought up some brandy for his wife,he set it down on a table and in passing that table I put the stuff into
  • the brandy. It was easy, for at that time suspicion had not begun to setin.General Macarthur met his death quite painlessly. He did not hear me comeup behind him. I had, of course, to choose my time for leaving the terracevery carefully, but everything was successful.As I had anticipated, a search was made of the island and it was discoveredthat there was no one on it but our seven selves. That at once created anatmosphere of suspicion. According to my plan IAND THEN THERE WERE NONEshould shortly need an ally. I selected Dr. Armstrong for that part. He wasa gullible sort of man, he knew me by sight and reputation and it wasinconceivable to him that a man of my standing should actually be amurderer! All his suspicions were directed against Lombard and I pretendedto concur in these. I hinted to him that I had a scheme by which it mightbe possible to trap the murderer into in- criminating himself.Though a search had been made of every ones room, no search had as yetbeen made of the persons themselves. But that was bound to come soon.I killed Rogers on the morning of August 10th. He was chopping sticks forlighting the fire and did not hear me approach. I found the key to thedining-room door in his pocket. He had locked it the night before. In theconfusion attending the finding of Rogers body I slipped into Lombardsroom and abstracted his revolver. I knew that he would have one with him-infact, I had instructed Morris to suggest as much when he interviewed him.At breakfast I slipped my last dose of Chloral into Miss Brents coffee when
  • I was refilling her cup. We left her in the dining-room. I slipped in therea little while later-she was nearly unconscious and it was easy to injecta strong solution of Cyanide into her. The bumblebee business was reallyrather childish-but somehow, you know, it pleased me. I liked adhering asclosely as possible to my nursery rhyme.Immediately after this what I had already foreseen happenedindeed I believeI suggested it myself. We all submitted to a rigorous search. I had safelyhidden away the revolver, and had no more Cyanide or Chloral in mypossession. It was then that I intimated to Armstrong that we must carryour plan into effect. It was simply this-I must appear to be the nextvictim. That would perhaps rattle the murderer-at any rate once I wassupposed to be dead I could move about the house and spy upon the unknownmurderer.Armstrong was keen on the idea. We carried it out that evening. A littleplaster of red mud on the forehead-the red curtain and the wool and thestage was set. The lights of the candles were very flickering and uncertainand the only person who would examine me closely was Armstrong.It worked perfectly. Miss Claythorne screamed the house down when she foundthe seaweed which I had thoughtfully arranged in her room. They all rushedup, and I took up my pose of a murdered man.MASTERPIECES OF MURDERThe effect on them when they found me was all that could be desired.Armstrong acted his part in the most professional manner. They carried meupstairs and laid me on my bed. Nobody worried about me, they were all too
  • deadly scared and terrified of each other.I had a rendezvous with Armstrong outside the house at a quarter to two.I took him up a little way behind the house on the edge of the cliff. Isaid that here we could see if any one else approached us, and we shouldnot be seen from the house as the bedrooms faced the other way. He wasstill quite unsuspicious-and yet he ought to have been warned- If he hadonly remembered the words of the nursery rhyme, "A red herring swallowedone . He took the red herring all right. It was quite easy. I uttered anexclamation, leant over the cliff, told him to look, wasnt that the mouthof a cave? He leant right over. A quick vigorous push sent him off hisbalance and splash into the heaving sea below. I returned to the house. Itmust have been my footfall that Blore heard. A few minutes after I hadreturned to Armstrongs room I left it, this time making a certain amount ofnoise so that some one should hear me. I heard a door open as I got to thebottom of the stairs. They must have just glimpsed my figure as I went outof the front door.It was a minute or two before they followed me. I had gone straight roundthe house and in at the dining-room window which I had left open. I shutthe window and later I broke the glass. Then I went upstairs and laidmyself out again on my bed.I calculated that they would search the house again, but I did not thinkthey would look closely at any of the corpses, a mere twitch aside of thesheet to satisfy themselves that it was not Armstrong masquerading as abody. This is exactly what occurred.I forgot to say that I returned the revolver to Lombards room. It may beof interest to some one to know where it was hidden during the search.
  • There was a big pile of tinned food in the larder. I opened the bottommostof the tins-biscuits I think it contained, bedded in the revolver andreplaced the strip of adhesive tape.I calculated, and rightly, that no one would think of working their waythroug4 a pile of apparently untouched foodstuffs, especially as all thetop tins were soldered.The red curtain I had concealed by laying it flat on the seat of one of thedrawing-room chairs under the chintz cover and the wool in the seat cushion,cutting a small hole.And now came the moment that I had anticipated-three people who were sofrightened of each other that anything might happen-AND THEN THERE WERE NONEand one of them had a revolver. I watched them from the windows of thehouse. When Blore came up alone I had the big marble clock poised ready.Exit Blore. . . . From my window I saw Vera Claythorne shoot Lombard. Adaring and resourceful young woman. I always thought she was a match forhim and more. As soon as that had happened I set the stage in her bedroom.It was an interesting psychological experiment. Would the consciousness ofher own guilt, the state of nervous tension consequent on having just shota man, be sufficient, together with the hypnotic suggestion of thesurroundings, to cause her to take her own life? I thought it would. I wasright. Vera Claythome hanged herself before my eyes where I stood in theshadow of the wardrobe. And now for the last stage. I came forward, picked
  • up the chair and set it against the wall. I looked for the revolver andfound it at the top of the stairs where the girl had dropped it. I wascareful to preserve her fingerprints on it. Andnow?I shall finish writing this. I shall enclose it and seal it in a bottle andI shall throw the bottle into the sea.Why?Yes, why? . . .It was my ambition to invent a murder mystery that no one could solve.But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is anatural craving for recognition which cannot be gainsaid.I have, let me confess it in all humility, a pitiful human wish that someone should know just how clever I have been. . . .In all this, I have assumed that the mystery of Indian Island will remainunsolved. It may be, of course, that the police will be cleverer than Ithink. There are, after all, three clues. One: the police are perfectlyaware that Edward Seton was guilty. They know, therefore, that one of theten people on the island was not a murderer in any sense of the word, andit follows, paradoxically, that that person must logically be the murderer.The second clue lies in the seventh verse of the nursery rhyme. Armstrongsdeath is associated with a "red herring" which he swallowed-or rather whichresulted in swallowing him! That is to say that at that stage of the affairsome hocus-pocus is clearly indicated-and that Armstrong was deceived byit and sent to his death. That might start a promising line of inquiry. Forat that period there are only four persons and of those four I am clearlythe only one likely to inspire him with confidence.
  • MASTERPIECES OF MURDERThe third is symbolical. The manner of my death marking me on the forehead.The brand of Cain.There is, I think, little more to say.After entrusting my bottle and its message to the sea I shall go to my roomand lay myself down on the bed. To my eyeglasses is attached what seems alength of fine black cord-but it is elastic cord. I shall lay the weightof the body on the glasses. The cord I shall loop round the door-handle andattach it, not too solidly, to the revolver. What I think will happen isthis.My hand, protected with a handkerchief, will press the trigger. My handwill fall to my side, the revolver, pulled by the elastic will recoil tothe door, jarred by the door-handle it will detach itself from the elasticand fall. The elastic, released, will hang down innocently from theeyeglasses on which my body is lying. A handkerchief lying on the floorwill cause no comment whatever. I shall be found, laid neatly on my bed,shot through the forehead in accordance with the record kept by my fellowvictims. Times of death cannot be stated with any accuracy by the time ourbodies are examined.When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men.And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island.SignedLAWRENCE WARGRAVE.
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